So basically this is franwilde's fault, because I was on a tear about it the other night and she told me I needed to write a blog post. So here's a blog post. (Does anybody even read blogs anymore? Tap, tap, is this thing on? “140 characters is all anyone will ever need.”)
My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.
And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.
I thought for a minute that Guardians of the Galaxy was going to pull off a subversion. They were so close. All they had to do was have somebody make the point that We Survived The Magic Radiation Because We All Worked Together, but no, it’s the pure fucking light of Chris Pratt’s Y chromosome that rescues the day again.
This is the part where I point out my love for Farscape, in part for not falling for this shit—in fact, for relentlessly subverting the Corn-Fed White American Dude Goes To Space And Brings American Values To The Natives narrative. In part by showing space and aliens driving Crichton nuts, and in part by surrounding him with endless competent awesome women.**
You know, I’ve taken a lot of responsibility in my life, and never once has it resulted in me becoming a Chosen One. I guess it’s the lack of a broken chromosome.
Anyway. So tired of that narrative. Somebody please write me the book or movie where it turns out that the chick was the Chosen One all along?
*Remember Bulletproof Monk? Neither does anybody else, except me, and that’s because it pissed me off. It’s really fun to watch Toronto cosplay New York ineffectually throughout the movie, though.
**Also, one of my dearest friends and favorite people basically is Aeryn Sun, so yeah.
THIS. Also, I was reminded of ink-splotch's excellent post on HTTYD2. Just another instance where women are not given the position of centrality or leadership that the narrative suggests they should have.
JARVIS opened the file he’d buried deep in Sir’s private server, presenting it to them on one of the holotables. Sir’s eyes sharpened; Ms. Potts opened her mouth in a gesture JARVIS knew meant surprise.
"I have taken the liberty of investigating available property in Manhattan, and calculating the best return on investment in terms of both community benefit and ease of building," he said, as Sir reached out to spin the holographic building around. "I believe this design for Stark Tower combines the Stark aesthetic pleasantly with the Manhattan skyline."
"Well," Sir said. "The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. This is audacious, J."
"Thank you, Sir." JARVIS hesitated again. Dummy made a pointed query at him, and he acknowledged it drily. "Sir, you have asked on four separate occasions if I should like to be possessed of a physical form."
"Yeah, but we’re still years away from anything realistic, I just wanted to know if I should start — " Sir began, but JARVIS interrupted. Sir on a roll could be time-consuming.
"This is the physical form I desire," he said.
This fic is really enjoyable to write, so it would be awesome if at some point I could find a goddamn plot for it.
I’m “intelligent” so people expect me to be a ravenclaw but here is my train of thought, don’t know or really care how accurate it is, I feel like to determine if someone is actually a ravenclaw or if they just think they are because they like to read or get good grades, do you want to answer a riddle to get into your bedroom? because if you’re a ravenclaw you have to do that. and just personally I would fucking kill someone
sometimes it is all i can do to move
to push for giving leverage against bedsheets
and let my feet sink into cold air at the floor
sometimes it is all i can do to breathe
to taste morning breath and a pitiful ache
to know i am at the beginning of a day of struggle
and that i must begin
sometimes all i can do is dream
and despite my best efforts to sleep peaceful
i am filled with visions of rot and screams
no matter what tricks i perform
what gods or demons i give pressed-lipped homage to
i wake up cold, sweaty, cramping
crying, gasping for breath, reaching for knives—
but i must sleep sometime
my feet are cold
my breath is acrid
i am hungry
i slept for ten hours and am still tired
i dreamed about men looking up little girls’ skirts
and i do not want to leave my room
now that i have just finally found one
but the world will not stop its rotation for me
and my nightmares are not so much worse outside
and so, most days, i do
“Until I started taking my antidepressants, though, I didn’t actually know that I was depressed. I thought the dark staticky corners were part of who I was. It was the same way I felt before I put on my first pair of glasses at age 14 and suddenly realized that trees weren’t green blobs but intricate filigrees of thousands of individual leaves; I hadn’t known, before, that I couldn’t see the leaves, because I didn’t realize that seeing leaves was a possibility at all. And it wasn’t until I started using tools to counterbalance my depression that I even realized there was depression there to need counterbalancing. I had no idea that not everyone felt the gravitational pull of nothingness, the ongoing, slow-as-molasses feeling of melting down into a lump of clay. I had no way of knowing that what I thought were just my ingrained bad habits — not being able to deposit checks on time, not replying to totally pleasant emails for long enough that friendships were ruined, having silent meltdowns over getting dressed in the morning, even not going to the bathroom despite really, really, really having to pee — weren’t actually my habits at all. They were the habits of depression, which whoa, holy shit, it turns out I had a raging case of.”—
marvel studios is going through a moment where they could literally pick any character and make a successful movie if they wanted to. for fucks sake they made one about a team that not even most marvel comics fans really cared about, when no one was asking for a movie about them, a team that features a talking tree and a talking raccoon, and it had the fucking biggest box office of the year so far. stop giving me those weak ass excuses for the lack of female led movies
Slytherin wasn’t the only founder to leave a concealed chamber at Hogwarts— before her death, Helga Huffelpuff created a secret room which would help all students, regardless of house affiliation or purity of blood. It’s been called many things throughout the centuries; today it’s known as the Room of Requirement.
Also yeah, I’ve said it before, but like when people are like “why doesn’t Harry ask for help more, why doesn’t he ask questions” THAT IS LITERALLY WHAT HE LEARNED HE WOULD BE PUNISHED FOR DOING GROWING UP. It was drilled into him not to ask for help.
Today I am sitting at lunch and I get a text from Sark, who wants to know if he can ask me a serious question because he needs a female’s opinion. I grant that it’s a good time to ask, and he proceeds to ask me “Do you think a major contributing factor to rape is our society being…
“In the United States, access to tampons and pads for low-income women is a real problem, too: food stamps don’t cover feminine hygiene products, so some women resort to selling their food stamps in order to pay for “luxuries” like tampons. Women in prison often don’t have access to sanitary products at all, and the high cost of a product that half the population needs multiple times a day, every month for approximately 30 years, is simply, well, bullshit.”—
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody suggest that toilet paper or paper towels in public bathrooms shouldn’t be free. We’d consider it outrageous if that very basic necessity were to be missing, or provided only for purchase.