Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: The Fifth Doctor & Adric, Nyssa, Tegan Jovanka, Vislor Turlough, and Peri Brown
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: coloured pencils
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: firefiriel
Why this piece is awesome: This is such a sweet portrait of the Fifth Doctor and all his Companions. I love the warm light inside the TARDIS and the way it contrasts with the dark blue of the outside.
Link: Five is for Riches
No Words Needed , Willow/Tara by badly_knitted.
The Truest Madness , Buffy/Angelus by only1tonid
sueworld2003 asks if anyone is interested in Noel of Spike ?
Buffy icons by hermionesparkle.
Buffyverse icons by teragramm.
Buffyverse icons by red_satin_doll.
EW re-watches Beer Bad .
* Such a random thing to come from Playboy, but I will take any opportunity to revisit the short-lived series Kings.
* Here's a trailer for the new live-action Cinderella movie from Disney.
* Better Call Saul finally has a premiere date. So does The Americans.
* Adam Pally is leaving The Mindy Project.
* Really interesting account of how Mike Nichols and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? helped to change the MPAA rating system.
* Cecily Strong is hosting the next White House Correspondents' Dinner. Good for her.
* Here's a clip of Meryl Streep singing "Stay With Me" from Into the Woods.
* There's also a trailer for Pitch Perfect 2.
* Donald Sutherland compared Jennifer Lawrence to Joan of Arc and Jesus. Look, we all love JLaw, but that's a little ridiculous even as hyperbole. (On the other hand, now I kind of want a Joan of Arc movie starring Jennifer Lawrence?)
Today, there was a woman with a toddler behind me who was buying some Daiya Cheese Blocks. I'd never seen those before, just the shredded (I don't often get Daiya cheese... since I can have the goat and sheep milk cheeses, but sometimes it's not a bad substitute to use) and asked how she liked it. Turns out the little girl can't have any dairy and LOVES being able to have blocks of cheese (and not just slices or shredded) just like everyone else in the family.
I happened to be buying a box of Earth Balance Vegan Macaroni & Cheese (because that stuff is *awesome*) and asked if they'd tried it. Turned out she'd never heard of it... and also hadn't known about Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Squares (the store had only just started carrying them about a week ago (totally my fault... I've been bugging them for over a year about it, got fed up and bought five boxes when we were in Texas last month, so of course now they started carrying the stuff locally)).
End result: She went running off on a mad dash through the store to get macaroni & Cheese and a box of vegan cheddar squares. I predict a VERY happy little girl in the not too distant future.
Crossposted from my Livejournal
A funny thing happens whenever I live abroad: I talk to my parents more than I do when I'm in Australia.
The amazing power of Skype means that friends and family aren't as far away as they used to be. We can talk to and see one another every day. I can tell my mum I like her new hairstyle, watch my dad cooking dinner and allow my ears to be punished as my nephew takes over the keyboard and mic. There's no denying that social media has radically changed how we communicate with distant loved ones. Of course, being apart from your family is the hardest part of being an expat, and sometimes not even Skype can help.
In the South Sudan, with unreliable internet, Skype is a luxury and for Kerry it simply isn't an option. Kerry works as a human rights officer under extremely stressful conditions and she misses her family at home immensely. "I would say it is one of the hardest parts of this kind of work," she says. "However, we stay in touch online and we speak on the phone as often as we can. My mum and my brother never fail to put a smile on my face even after the hardest day. Even though I know they worry about me, they always support me. It helps to speak to people who are not under the same stresses, they can pull you out of the bubble you sometimes find yourself in."
For some expats, there is the option to go home and visit, but not always regularly. Anna, who lives in Australia, tries to make the long trek back to Leeds at least every two years. But that's simply not often enough to feel like she's part of the lives of her youngest family members. Anna feels that she hasn't had the opportunity to get to know her brother's children. Anna and her partner are expecting their first child in the new year and she sees distance as a particular challenge. "I think it will hit home even more when I have my baby as I won't be able to properly introduce it to its English grandparents." Anna also worries about what will happen as her parents age. "I am conscious that my brother will have to carry more than his fair share of looking after them."
Raising a family abroad can be hard. You lack the support of your family and close friends at home. It can be an opportunity to make new friends as you connect with other expat mums, but it can present unexpected challenges.
For Farrah, finding the right school for their children in Luxembourg was difficult. Farrah wasn't so keen for her children to go to the local school where they only learn Luxembourgish until the age of 6 (who knew Luxembourgish was a language!). It's not a skill which is easily transferable. The American School didn't offer languages and the French school was too difficult for her daughter. They have finally settled on a Montessori school which gives classes in both French and German.
"I think one of the single biggest things that we're giving the children is language," Farrah says. "England is very much a mono-lingual society. And they don't really value languages in the same way."
Farrah and I talked about what it means to be a "third culture kid". These are children who either have multiple cultural identities or no specific cultural identity. Farrah feels that Luxembourg is a good place to be a 3rd culture kid, as it is so ethnically diverse and multicultural. But there's a certain level of guilt, raising your children in these environments.
"My daughter still says she wants to go back to Sweden," Farrah says. "Nearly all the children I know talk about where they were and want to go back there. And that's heartbreaking as a parent because you feel like you've done the wrong thing even though you're giving them all these advantages."
Family life abroad is far and away the biggest challenge for expats, and in traditional 'male-led-female-follower' expat families the bulk of that burden falls on women. But even for women who have moved abroad independently, missing your family is the hardest part - with or without Skype.
For myself, I feel particularly far away from home right now, as my mum is in hospital for an operation. On top of all the other expat worries of cultural and language difficulties, I can now add the guilt of distance. Family might only be a phone call away, but nothing beats sharing a real hug with your mum.
The photo illustrates a family portrait of two women, a baby and toddler. Thanks Deborah Welsh for the photo.
In August this year, Cambridge's Wysing Arts Centre held its fifth Space-Time festival. This arts and music festival explores "realities and possibilities" and this year chose to focus on women in electronic and experimental music. The piece below reviews the event, talking to women working in the industry about the barriers they experience within this field. Sadly, I missed this exciting event, but for those of us who didn't attend, you can read more here.
The image is of Holly Herndon, a performer at the festival. It shows Holly performing, with one hand on a laptop and the other on a mixing table. The image was taken by Niklas Park and shared under a Creative Commons licence.
Later, someone on my telecon uttered the following words in all seriousness: "So wait, is this the problem we were having with time going backward?"
Let me pour forth
My tears before thy face, whilst I stay here,
For thy face coins them, and thy stamp they bear,
And by this mintage they are something worth.
For thus they be
Pregnant of thee;
Fruits of much grief they are, emblems of more;
When a tear falls, that thou fall'st which it bore;
So thou and I are nothing then, when on a divers shore.
On a round ball
A workman, that hath copies by, can lay
An Europe, Afric, and an Asia,
And quickly make that, which was nothing, all.
So doth each tear,
Which thee doth wear,
A globe, yea world, by that impression grow,
Till thy tears mix'd with mine do overflow
This world, by waters sent from thee, my heaven dissolvèd so.
O! more than moon,
Draw not up seas to drown me in thy sphere;
Weep me not dead, in thine arms, but forbear
To teach the sea, what it may do too soon;
Let not the wind
To do me more harm than it purposeth:
Since thou and I sigh one another's breath,
Whoe'er sighs most is cruellest, and hastes the other's death.
From a Distance , Buffy/Angel by foxinator.
Sweetheart, I'm Not Bitter , Dawn by clockwork_hart1.
Chapter Two of Spike to the Rescue by forsaken2003.
rbfvid lists favorite Buffy covers, remixes & tributes, not including original songs .
Spike icons by effulgent_girl.
EW re-watches Revelations .
Thinky thoughts on fan fiction vs. romantic fiction by shadowkat67.
My observations so far:
- I am not all that good at resting. I keep thinking "right, so what am I going to DO today? what is my GOAL? what do I want to ACHIEVE?" and then having to remind myself that what I am DOING today is nothing.
- I am really not all that good at resting. My idea of 'doing nothing' is only spending an hour or so doing ticky-box useful things, and then the rest of the time knitting. And reading, which ought to count, except I keep finding myself reading things off the 'I really must read this' pile rather than just fun things. OK, sometimes the IRMRT pile contains unexpectedly fun things (if they were truly expectedly fun I would have read them already; they tend to be things that I might be pleased to have read but are not necessarily restful). But still. I mean, I do like knitting! But I find it curious that it is so difficult not to do something that I clock as 'vaguely useful'.
- Having said all of that, I have had a couple of naps in the last fortnight, which were great! And I have done enjoyable reading and knitting rather than (mostly) hurtling around the place with the mile-long to-do list, so we will count this as a win.
- When I have sat down for an hour with the to-do list, the enjoyment of crossing things off the list has been significantly higher than usual, which I found fascinating. Possibly partly because I was limiting the time I was going to spend doing it? Rather than having a whole day (and more...) of ticky-box tasks stretching ahead of me.
- I do, overall, feel better than I did when I made the decision.
- I do need to rethink what I'm trying to fit into my normal life at the moment. I have done some provisional thinking on this and will continue to contemplate it next week.
- I have also done some writing just because I wanted to, which is an improvement on last month when it was all about ticking things off. This was pleasing. Long may it continue. (The interesting thing is finding the balance between the self-discipline of 'show up and write'; the feeling of 'I want to do this and am enjoying the process' (where 'enjoying' also covers 'this is hard work and exhausting but satisfying'); and the bit where you just need to keep on plugging.
Further updates at the end of the month, if I think of any.
Lucy Drewery asks why mocking a person's appearance is still just seen as 'banter'.
Gemma Collins, star of ITV's The Only Way is Essex and, now (albeit briefly), I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! has been receiving some negative attention on Twitter this week.
Gemma is a larger woman. I'd say she's only a bit bigger than me, which may be why I feel so affected by this. Or perhaps I've just not been carried away with the anonymous hype that is trolling online.
Urban dictionary defines trolling as:
Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.
Which basically sums up what I've seen on twitter lately.
I logged on after Gemma's entry last Sunday and all I saw were people commenting on how she looks. All week, I've seen men and women alike retweeting these hateful comments, saying they're hilarious but they feel bad for laughing. If you feel bad for laughing, why share the content? Surely if you understand it's hurtful, you won't want to spread it?
If Gemma Collins were a man, would this still be happening?
I believe not. For some reason, everyone seems to expect women to come into the show looking gorgeous in a small white bikini underneath a waterfall. And kudos to the women who do. I have no problem with this happening, but there is more to those women than how good they look under a waterfall. Just like there is more to Gemma than her size.
Yes, she's big compared to the other girls on I'm a Celeb and TOWIE. I'm sure with all the media attention her fame has brought her, she's aware of this fact. This doesn't mean the tweets mocking her size are okay. They certainly aren't funny. As I scroll down my timeline, a girl I went to school with retweets a hateful comment. This girl used to confide in me about her own body issues. I was there when she called herself fat and vowed to lose weight because she thought boys wouldn't like her. Now here she is, five years later, fat shaming an innocent woman she doesn't even know.
So why is it that, even with our own insecurities, mocking a person's appearance is still just seen as 'banter'? Does this make us feel better about ourselves? If we call this woman who is bigger than me fat, will we seem skinnier? When these comments are read and laughed at, they become normal. It starts off with anonymous trolling. We hide behind our computer screens, safe in the knowledge that our anonymity will lessen the consequences of our actions. Then the comments become accepted and, before you know it, are being related to people you know; people who can hear them.
I've had my share of comments about my weight. It took a long time to come to terms with being bigger than others and, as much as I'd like to enforce the idea that body confidence comes completely from within, I have to admit a lot of mine was prompted by other people: guys I've been with who told me I looked good, my friends reassuring me and seeing women of my size or bigger standing up to society and saying "I look good!". In my opinion, that's what Gemma is doing.
One of the pictures being mocked shows Gemma in a swimming costume. I understand the sheer dread of buying such an item and this woman will be wearing it in front of millions on national TV! I look at that picture and all I can focus on is that it's a nice swimming costume that suits her figure and I can tell she just doesn't care what people think of her. Surely we should admire that? We should respect a person's ability to stand up to hateful comments and say "this is who I am, I look good and I don't care what you think." Unfortunately, regardless of whether Gemma can brush all this off, there will be probably be girls and women seeing them and subsequently finding new body insecurities.
I want to say I don't think everyone who has taken part in all this mocking is a bad person. It's so easy to get caught up in hype. However, this makes it even more important for us to stand up to it. Let's stop making women feel terrible about their bodies and implying their looks are the only thing about them worth commenting on. Think before you speak, before you tweet and before you hurt someone. Gemma Collins is a human being. She is funny and entertaining. Let's focus on those aspects about her! She doesn't need to see your petty comments and young girls who are dealing with bodily insecurities don't need them either.
Lucy Drewery is a 19 year old originally from Plymouth. She studies Primary Education with English at the University of Reading.
The I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! logo. This shows green jungle-covered hills, with the show title in diamond lettering with a gold outline (similar in style to the classic Hollywood sign, albeit not in colour), against a blue sky. Shared under fair dealing.
Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Thy beams so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long.
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and to-morrow late tell me,
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay."
She's all states, and all princes I;
Nothing else is;
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
* SAGAAAAA. Saga is back, as is almost the entire cast! :DDDD
* This new #1 sounds intriguing: The Empty, by Jimmy Robinson: Tanoor lives in an empty apocalyptic world of poison and decay. Her village is all that remains of humanity as they struggle against mutant beasts and rotting bones.But Tanoor finds a chance to save her people when a stranger drifts into town. A stranger armed with the power to grow life from death. A stranger who could change the world—if Tanoor can keep them alive in the deadly world of The Empty.
* Likewise Postal by Hill/Hawkins and Goodhart: The townsfolk of Eden, Wyoming wake up to the first official murder the town has seen in 25 years. Their reaction to this isn’t normal, and there’s a reason for that. Eden operates as a haven for fugitive criminals who remain here while new identities, often including facial reconstruction, are created for them. There is zero tolerance for any illegal activity that might draw attention to the town and an “official murder” is the last thing they want. A single, tight-knit family runs Eden with the youngest oddball son Mark Shiffron overseeing the postal branch, the only means of shipping in or out of the city.
* Lots of next issues for series I'm enjoying, including East of West, The Wicked + the Divine, Lazarus (although I'm behind on that).
* Elektra canceled. The art was so pretty, but the story was so cold. IDK. I wanted to love it.
* Lots of new female-led titles: Spider-Gwen, Silk (both Spider-man affiliated, kind of? Spider-Gwen is AU somehow), and by then we'll be three issues into Angela: Assassin of Asgard, which I must say is not a book that I'm filled with hope for, although I do like women are involved in both the writing and the arting.
* Jorge Molina is taking a shift (or taking over?) on Thor. Given the kind of style he had when he filled in on X-Force, I think he'll be a good fit, especially if they keep the same colorist. Solicit seems to imply that we still don't know new Thor's identity?!
* MS MARVEL VERSUS LOKI. ALL MY DREAMS ARE COME TRUE. I mean, just look at this cover. (Sad we don't have Jake Wyatt back, though - artist this issue is Takeshi Miyazawa, whom I'm not familiar with.)
* I will be interested to read the rest of X-Force once it finally comes to MU. This Fantomex-as-antagonist thing seems designed to make me unhappy, but Spurrier is a clever and complex writer. IDK.
* Storm #8 - Phil Briones arting this issue. I recall quite liking his work on Humphries' UXF, although not as well as I've liked Ibanez.
From the Island Voyage with the Earl of Essex
Thou which art I—’tis nothing to be so—
Thou which art still thyself, by these shalt know
Part of our passage; and a hand or eye
By Hilliard drawn is worth a history
By a worse painter made; and, without pride,
When by thy judgment they are dignified,
My lines are such. ’Tis the pre-eminence
Of friendship only to impute excellence.
England, to whom we owe what we be and have,
Sad that her sons did seek a foreign grave
—For Fate’s or Fortune’s drifts none can soothsay;
Honour and misery have one face, and way—
From out her pregnant entrails sigh’d a wind,
Which at th’ air’s middle marble room did find
Such strong resistance, that itself it threw
Downward again; and so when it did view
How in the port our fleet dear time did leese,
Withering like prisoners, which lie but for fees,
Mildly it kiss’d our sails, and fresh and sweet
—As to a stomach starved, whose insides meet,
Meat comes—it came; and swole our sails, when we
So joy’d, as Sarah her swelling joy’d to see.
But ’twas but so kind as our countrymen,
Which bring friends one day’s way, and leave them then.
Then like two mighty kings, which dwelling far
Asunder, meet against a third to war,
The south and west winds join’d, and, as they blew,
Waves like a rolling trench before them threw.
Sooner than you read this line, did the gale,
Like shot, not fear’d till felt, our sails assail;
And what at first was call’d a gust, the same
Hath now a storm’s, anon a tempest’s name.
Jonas, I pity thee, and curse those men
Who, when the storm raged most, did wake thee then.
Sleep is pain’s easiest salve, and doth fulfil
All offices of death, except to kill.
But when I waked, I saw that I saw not;
I, and the sun, which should teach me, had forgot
East, west, day, night; and I could only say,
If th’ world had lasted, now it had been day.
Thousands our noises were, yet we ’mongst all
Could none by his right name, but thunder, call.
Lightning was all our light, and it rain’d more
Than if the sun had drunk the sea before.
Some coffin’d in their cabins lie, equally
Grieved that they are not dead, and yet must die;
And as sin-burden’d souls from grave will creep
At the last day, some forth their cabins peep,
And trembling ask, “What news?” and do hear so
As jealous husbands, what they would not know.
Some sitting on the hatches would seem there
With hideous gazing to fear away fear.
Then note they the ship’s sicknesses, the mast
Shaked with an ague, and the hold and waist
With a salt dropsy clogg’d, and all our tacklings
Snapping, like too-too-high-stretch’d treble strings.
And from our tatter’d sails rags drop down so,
As from one hang’d in chains a year ago.
Even our ordnance, placed for our defence,
Strives to break loose, and ’scape away from thence.
Pumping hath tired our men, and what’s the gain?
Seas into seas thrown, we suck in again;
Hearing hath deaf’d our sailors, and if they
Knew how to hear, there’s none knows what to say.
Compared to these storms, death is but a qualm,
Hell somewhat lightsome, the Bermudas calm.
Darkness, light’s eldest brother, his birthright
Claims o’er the world, and to heaven hath chasèd light.
All things are one, and that one none can be,
Since all forms uniform deformity
Doth cover; so that we, except God say
Another Fiat, shall have no more day.
So violent, yet long, these furies be,
That though thine absence starve me, I wish not thee.
(Donne also wrote a sequel letter, The Calm. For the Islands Voyage, see Wikipedia.)
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Lt. Uhura
Content Notes/Warnings: None. (The artist does sell some of these paintings but is a tattooist rather than a full-time professional artist, and this one is tagged as fanart, so I'm hoping it's okay to rec it here.)
Medium: Acrylic on stretched black velvet
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: gallery on DA
Why this piece is awesome: It's Lt. Uhura on black velvet! If anyone can carry that off it's Uhura, and the lushness does suit her coloring. Very nicely done, and I like her expression a lot.
Link: Lt. Uhura on black velvet
io9 includes "Every Single Male In Buffy Summers' Life" in their "7 Dudes in Distress Who Needed Saving by Damsels". "Angel. Xander. Giles. Spike. If you hung out with Buffy Summers on any kind of regular basis during Buffy the Vampire Slayer and had a penis, then chances are Buffy saved your ass on multiple occasions...To be fair, everyone around Buffy needed saving pretty much constantly, and that occasionally included Buffy herself. But given that the main female characters were Slayers and witches, the less powered male characters were easy pickings for the bad guys".
More news from the Sunnydale Press.
Storywonk discusses Out of Mind, Out of Sight and Prophecy Girl and the problem of Xander .
TheMindRobbers discusses Buffy vs. Dracula and Real Me .
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Carl Elias
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: traditional-water color and ink?
Artist on DW/LJ:n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: DA tumblr
Why this piece is awesome: this is a beautiful piece(seriously love the technique)that captures the calm benevolence that covers the extremely dangerous man underneath.
Link: Carl Elias
* If you're a fan of The Americans or Masters of Sex, you may be happy to hear that The Millers was canceled, thus freeing up Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges to return to those (much better) shows.
* With Mockingjay coming out soon, Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the cast are out in full force. JLaw talks about the crazy ways her life has changed since accepting this role and makes plans to fight crime with Stephen Colbert, or possibly commit crimes as part of her downward spiral. Director Francis Lawrence discusses the pressure of being Philip Seymour Hoffman's last film, Sam Claflin talks a lot about his hair, and Natalie Dormer is her usual fierce self as always.
* Marvel has cast Daniel Bruhl to play an unspecified villain in Captain America: Civil War. No idea who he's actually playing, but here's some speculation, which also indicates that the Winter Soldier will still play a major role in the film. You know, in addition to Tony Stark being around, and Cap possibly having a whole new team, and introducing Black Panther... Man, this is going to be one really crowded movie; I'm not sure why they're even bothering to call it "Captain America" at this point.
* This is why it took so long to get Dancing Baby Groot merchandise.
* Rob Marshall and James Lapine talk about adapting Into the Woods for the film. I do not appreciate being told to "chill out." This is only THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY CHILDHOOD YOU ARE MESSING WITH HERE. That is, like, barely an exaggeration, you don't even know.
* First promo for Peter Pan live. Apparently, they are making quite a few changes from the original musical, but some of that's about making it less horribly racist, so I think even the purists would find it hard to argue with that one.
* Fantastic discussion of Connie Britton's career and magnificent hair.
* Interesting piece on how certain casting choices provoke outrage, what the threshold is for authenticity, and why some ethnic minorities get lumped together.
* Mandy Patinkin sings and talks really fast and says the Inigo Montoya quote on 60 Minutes.
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: The First Doctor & Susan
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: oil on canvas
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: draculasaurus
Why this piece is awesome: This is such a great work. I love it both as a Van Gogh pastiche and as a portrait of the First Doctor and Susan. The colouring, brushwork, and overall style is all Van Gogh but the First Doctor's direct stare and the way Susan clings to her grandfather's arm could be taken straight from An Unearthly Child.
It's worth noting that this work was posted over a year before the New Doctor Who episode Vincent and the Doctor was broadcast.
Link: doctor who meets van gogh
This is a guest post from Chloe Darke, a freelance journalist and postgraduate student living in London. She likes books and watching crime dramas on rainy days, and hates hearing her twenty-something friends worry about wrinkles.
I worry that the rise of female superhero in film is not necessarily a sign of women's independence and power: it seems film heroines of today haven't changed as much as we think.
In 1987, Adrian Lyne's Fatal Attraction was the highest grossing film worldwide, making over $320 million by the end of that year. It shows a seemingly independent, childless career woman Alex (played by Glenn Close) become a needy stalker, setting out to destroy Michael Douglas' character Dan's marriage and family life (and the pet rabbit) after their affair turns sour.
As they left the cinema, men (should have) learnt not to have affairs, working childless women were told they needed a family, and everyone should have gotten the message that women's sexuality was really all about being wanted by men. That was then.
But how much has the portrayal of women in films changed now? The women on our screens are ever more aggressive, powerful and lacking in 'feminine weakness': look at the rise of the female superhero in films such as Lara Croft (from 2001 onwards), and the recent blockbuster Lucy. But behind women's new found bravado in these films, sexuality is still the key to their influence and power and, crucially, that power is always about seducing men.
Take Amy Dunne (played by Rosamund Pike), from David Fincher's Gone Girl: on the surface she's the perfect modern wife, blonde, a BMI slightly below normal, and in no great rush to have children. When she goes missing on her and her husband's fifth wedding anniversary, he doesn't appear to know anything about her - from her blood type to who her friends are or what she does all day since giving up her New York writing job (to move close to his dying mother).
In fact, she's been plotting to frame him for her murder, and has made a run for it, bingeing on chocolate and popcorn in celebration of no longer being "the cool girl" sex object. She's a femme fatale who runs to her ex-lover when her money is stolen (he provides her with hair dye and gym equipment so she can "look like herself again"), fakes a rape and ruthlessly slits said ex-lover's throat during sex so that she can go back to her husband. Selfish, aggressive and lacking in traditional feminine altruism yes, but her 'unfeminine' actions are still all about using sex and sexual attractiveness to get attention from men, which hardly makes her independent.
While director David Fincher dubbed the film "a macabre on married life in the modern age", it is, much like Fatal Attraction, a tale of a selfish man who finds his love interest to be actually a 'psychopath', told through a man's eyes.
Though she has no empathy, the modern femme fatale nonetheless looks like the ideal woman. In Under the Skin, an alien arrives on earth disguised as the perfect seductress (Scarlett Johansson with a black wig and blood-red lipstick) ready to drive round Glasgow picking up men in a white van and lure them into an alien-like black death pool... You can tell it's directed by a man (Jonathan Glazer)!
Johansson's character starts to develop empathy as the film goes on, from walking past people drowning at the beginning to developing a curiosity about sex and her own naked body (which seems more like male voyeurism than anything else). But as she starts to understand human emotions she becomes vulnerable to exploitation by men. Having no clue how to look after herself on earth or understanding of what it is people do there (apart from wanting to have sex with beautiful women that is), she, like Amy Dunne, turns to an admiring man for protection, only to be gassed with petrol when the man who tries to rape her finds out she's an alien.
Both films had rave reviews. "A sexy space alien hunts men in Scotland in this extraordinary malarial dream," Xan Brooks from The Guardian said of Under the Skin, giving the film five stars, while reviews of Gone Girl praised its interplay of deception and different perspectives. Really, the film simply relayed the Fatal Attraction message: unfaithful men are forgiven by their wives and all women need the security of marriage.
It is possible to see how both these films are about how ridiculous 'ideal' women are, but I don't think that's how people see them. What worries me is how these women are presented as powerful, even feminist, because they are physically flawless and can manipulate men. Really, they're just 1970s or 1980s women, still gratuitously sexualised with a tad more aggression.
We've long moved on from '80s fashion, but little has changed when it comes to women on screen.
First picture is a still from Fatal Attraction, showing Michael Douglas as Dan and Glenn Close as Alex, talking in the kitchen, with kitchen utensils in the foreground. Taken from the film's official FB fanpage.
Second picture is taken from Gone Girl official FB fanpage. It is of Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne and Ben Affleck as Nick, with her drinking champagne.
Come, madam, come, all rest my powers defy;
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th' eyes of busy fools may be stopp'd there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed-time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with your wiry coronet, and show
The hairy diadems which on you do grow.
Off with your hose and shoes; then softly tread
In this love's hallow'd temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven's angels used to be
Revealed to men; thou, angel, bring'st with thee
A heaven-like Mahomet's paradise; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite;
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my Newfoundland,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd,
My mine of precious stones, my empery;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee!
To enter in these bonds, is to be free;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.
Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta's ball cast in men's views;
That, when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul might court that, not them.
Like pictures, or like books' gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus array'd.
Themselves are only mystic books, which we
—Whom their imputed grace will dignify—
Must see reveal'd. Then, since that I may know,
As liberally as to thy midwife show
Thyself; cast all, yea, this white linen hence;
There is no penance due to innocence :
To teach thee, I am naked first; why then,
What needst thou have more covering than a man?
2. I just figured out that this new DW layout I got switched to recently includes tags in its archive listing. Like, if you want to see subjects for posts made in January 2014, behold! THIS IS AMAZING. Especially given my habit the last couple of years of titling posts with things like "Tuesday things."
I will probably also nab topic ideas from the talking meme I attempted to do in January and then promptly failed at after two days, if you want to see what other people have requested in the past or put in a second vote for them. I'm not going to schedule things, though, because I think that way lies failure.
So, go forth and find new friends. Shoo.
Edit: ALSO. THERE SEEM TO BE MANY HOCKEY PEOPLE THERE. Where many = six or so? But that is more active hockey people than I have ever seen on DW at one time. So, my hockey people, this meme is for you.
So instead of a sex comedy, what it is is a humorously self-aware English-language attempt at a telenovela, or Spanish soap opera - in this case, one about a virgin who accidentally gets artificially inseminated and is now pregnant (which is the first of many, many unlikely happenings). And it's actually really cute! Jane's relationships with her mom and grandmother are complicated but loving, and the main actress in particular is adorable.
I also really love that she is basically constitutionally incapable of lying, which means she spends little to no time hiding things from people. I had NO IDEA how much I wanted this until I started watching this show. People making things harder for themselves by not communicating facts to other people stresses me out; this show is therefore so relaxing for me.
Unfortunately everyone else in the show seems to be some degree of terrible, except for the star of the in-show telenovela, who is terrible but also hilarious, and the narrator, who is just hilarious. I would like to root for the baby's father's sister, a screw-up who's presently banging another man's wife, and the father's wife, who is still unmitigatedly terrible, so I am hoping they both produce some sympathetic qualities soon so I can.
I watched the 200th ep of SPN. ( spoilers )
I suspect I may want more TV now with colder weather (26 on the way to work this morning!) and shorter days. Who knows, maybe I'll finally make it through B5. Also I have decided Sleepy Hollow would be the perfect show to watch with ex-roommates - cute characters for the girls, apocalypse for Mr. Roommate. So you may be hearing about that as well.
For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love;
Or chide my palsy, or my gout;
My five gray hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout;
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve;
Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his Honour, or his Grace;
Or the king's real, or his stamp'd face
Contemplate; what you will, approve,
So you will let me love.
Alas! alas! who's injured by my love?
What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats which my veins fill
Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love.
Call's what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We're tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find th' eagle and the dove.
The phoenix riddle hath more wit
By us; we two being one, are it;
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love.
We can die by it, if not live by love,
And if unfit for tomb or hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these hymns, all shall approve
Us canonized for love;
And thus invoke us, "You, whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage;
You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
Into the glasses of your eyes;
So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize—
Countries, towns, courts beg from above
A pattern of your love."
Welcome to these week's round up of links that we at The F-Word have found interesting, concerning, inspiring and/or compelling over the past seven days! It's actually over a slightly longer period than usual as we've had a break in posting these threads for a few months; however, they're back and you can expect to see them regularly once more.
While we try to indicate where there are links that might be triggering, especially if the article titles are not clear, please approach all links with caution. In addition, we aren't just posting things that we agree with so you might come across something that doesn't align with your feminism or is actually from an objectively un-feminist stance. We want to encourage debate and to recognise that variety of perspectives out there because while echo chambers can sound reassuring, they don't help us to progress. Given that, please take into account that The F-Word doesn't endorse any links - we just provide them for perusal.
We matched Dapper Laughs' 'comedy' with everyday sexism stories. Spot the difference (The Mirror) - warning for jokes and testimonials about rape and sexual assualt
This is not what feminism looks like (Tilly Grove at Huffington Post blog)
Feminist t-shirts, call-outs and commodification (We Mixed Our Drinks)
This Is What a Feminist Looks Like in Mauritius (The Nation)
A Cistern of Failure (Maki Yamazazi)
Some thoughts about thick skin (Feministing)
The image is by Sasha Nilov and is used under a creative commons licence. It depicts about 50 crayons tightly fitting into a pot. The shot is taken from directly above so all that can be seen of the crayons is the tips. They are in a wide array of colours and not arranged in any order. They are standing on an out-of-focus grey wood or fabric grained platform.
An Acquired Taste , Spike/Willow by rahirah.
A Light in the Dark , Willow/Cordelia/Faith and What You Want and What You Get , Olivia/Buffy/Tara/Dawn/Anya by kwritten.
In the Jailhouse Now , Spike by dragonyphoenix.
io9 includes Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered in their "19 Funniest Nude Scenes in Science Fiction and Fantasy". "Some inadvisable spellcasting turns Buffy into a rat and, as the situation works itself out, she transforms back - sans clothes - in front of Oz. Thankfully, werewolf Oz is somewhat accustomed to waking up naked in strange locations and, as a result, sees the silver lining".
ComicBookResources previews Angel & Faith, Issue No. Nine .
TVGuide says AH will be appearing on The McCarthys December 18.