Someone asked on a Facebook thread earlier tonight: where do Americans have our voice in dealing with violence against women, in dealing with the oppression of women, where do we have our voice? Is it voting, protesting, how do we act out and act up?
Where do we have our voice? In everyone we interact with, every single day. That is where we have our voice.
I have a son. That is where I have a voice. My son has grown up learning about personal space boundaries, about not using ‘like a girl’ or any other words like that as insults. My son got in trouble for fourth grade for rounding on kids on the bus who called him a “faggot” and asking them “do you even know what that really means?”
My son has friends. They come to our house. That is where I have a voice. When they say things, when they express ideas that they heard elsewhere that aren’t ideas that I can allow under my roof, I have the opportunity to talk to them about it.
I have friends. I can change their minds, by being who I am.
It isn’t big, it isn’t radical, it isn’t the sort of massive sweeping social change that we wish someone would just /make happen/ with the push of a button, but I’ll tell you what happens:
You have your sister-in-law come to you and ask “how do I ‘come out’ to my church friends as an LGBT ally and tell them that what they say hurts me? How do you do that with love?” You have your father-in-law become an outspoken figure in the American Baptist community in favor of ordaining women (that one isn’t my work) and in favor of same sex marriage (this is a journey of his that has brought us closer together, and continues to do so).
This isn’t glorious, it isn’t without its losses — I have lost more supposed friends than I care to count because I continue to push back and challenge the language they use, the way they behave, and the way they treat each other. THAT is how you effect social change, meaningfully, in your world. And when I hear my son downstairs correcting a neighborhood boy who’s new to our house: “We don’t say that, because being a girl isn’t a bad thing,” that is the reward I get. It’s ALL I get. And it’s enough. It has to be enough.
We change the people around us, slowly. We are water on stone.
Yes. Yes yes yes.
I’ve thought for a long time— and written elsewhere— that I know of no other way to change oppressive systems. Because there isn’t like one guy at the top ordering all police officers to be racist or controlling the minds of all video gamers.
Systems are made up of people. Individuals. Thousands, millions, of individual minds. And I don’t know what else to do except try to help open those minds, one at a time.
Reblogging for commentary.
I'll write my way into Self-Discovery.About Me Ask me anything
Anonymous said: Hello hello. I don't suppose you've already done a post of recommended fairy tales/collections?
No, I haven’t! This is not an exhaustive list by any means: just stories that I’ve read and enjoyed.
I’m most familiar with European fairy tales, as I grew up with them. A collection I like very much is Maria Tatar, The Classic Fairy Tales (PDF): a critical edition focusing on six major tales (Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty & the Beast, Bluebeard, Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood), offering versions from different cultures, adaptations and rewritings and subversions, etc. It’s fascinating to compare.
Britain & Ireland
- Francis James Child, English & Scottish Popular Ballads [e-text]
- W.B. Yeats, Irish Fairy & Folk Tales: short stories & a handful of poems; written in Irish brogue; I like “The Soul Cages”, “The man who never knew fear”, and “Witches, Fairy Doctors”; also Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales (e-text).
- Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince & Other Tales & A House of Pomegranates (e-text) or The Complete Fairy Tales. All of them. Just—all of them.
France & Italy:
- Early Italian: W.G. Waters, The Facetious Nights of Straparola (e-text), Giabattista Basile, Il Pantamerone; the Story of Stories (e-text), esp. “Cenerentola”, “Petrosinella”, and “Nennino & Nennella”. My favourite is “Talia”, the much darker version of Sleeping Beauty.
- 17th century French: Madame D’Aulnoy, Fairy Tales (e-text). Charles Perrault, Contes (e-text) or French text with facing English translation, esp. “Beauty & the Beast”, “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Bluebeard”.
- Modern: Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales—200 stories, dark and often macabre yet warm and witty; I like “Apple Girl”, “Sleeping Beauty and Her Children”.
- Jack Zipes, Beauty and the Beast, and Other Classic French Tales
- E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Golden Pot & Other Tales or The Best Tales of Hoffman (e-text) esp. “Sandman”, “The Mines of Falun”, “The Golden Pot”, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King”. (Good overview of Hoffman’s work.)
- J.W. von Goethe, “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily”.
- The Brothers Grimm: good introduction to German Romanticism/fairy tale context; Jack Zipes’ introduction to Brothers Grimm (PDF); Joan Acocella, “Once Upon A Time" (New Yorker); Ashliman’s online collection. My favourite: Manheim’s Grimms’ Tales For Young & Old, esp. “Hansel & Gretel”, “Cinderella”, “Snow-White & Rose-Red”, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”.
Scandinavia & Russia
- Asbjørnsen & Moe, Popular Tales From the Norse (e-text, print); East of the Sun & West of the Moon
- Hans Christian Andersen: Jean Hersholt, The Complete Andersen: an online collection of all of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales. My favourite print edition is Erik Haugaard, The Complete Fairy Tales & Stories. Particularly “The Little Mermaid”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Match Girl”.
- Aleksandr Afanasev, Russian Fairytales (alt), especially “Vasilissa the Beautiful”, “The Fable of the Turnip and the Honeypot”, “Koschei the Deathless”, the Baba-Yaga tales, “Snow-Maiden”.
- China: Pu Songling, Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio, particularly “The Tiger Guest” and “Painted Skin”, “The Magic Sword”, “Magical Arts”. Also Ed Young’s Yon Po Po and Ai-Ling Louie’s Ya-Shen.
- Japan: Yei Theodora Ozaki, Japanese Fairy Tales. I like “Momotaro”, “The Mirror of Matsuyama”, “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter" ("Princess Kaguya", soon to be adapted by Studio Ghibli), “The Ogre of Rashomon”, “Prince Yamato Take”; also Royall Tyler, Japanese Tales: 200+ stories, all very short—the “Love & Loss” and “Water” sections are particularly lovely.
- India: Joseph Jacobs, Indian Fairy Tales (e-text): I like “Punchkin” and “Loving Laili”; A. K. Ramanujan, Folktales From India; “Savitri”
Modern fairytales & adaptations:
- Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (epub, online, especially “The Company of Wolves”); Ann Sexton, Transformations (PDF, Scribd); Tanith Lee, Red As Blood; Nalo Hopkinson, Skin Folk; Neil Gaiman, Smoke & Mirrors (epub/mobi); Bill Willingham, Fables (download); Tim Burton, The Melancholy Death of Oyster; Revolutionary Girl Utena, Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth; Emma Donoghue, Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins; Ellen Jackson, Cinder Edna; Jon Scieszka, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs; Louise Murphy, The True Story of Hansel & Gretel.
Anonymous said: Towards the whole "pronouns hurt people's feelings" topic. Am I REALLY the only person on the planet that thinks people are becoming far to sensative? Nearly to the point that they shouldn't leave their little home bubbles in the case that a bird chirps next to them in a way that sounds like a mean word. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, we're becoming a little TOO coddling and people need to learn to deal with simplistic shit like words. And yes, I've been insulted and made fun of. I got over it. So can you.
Supposedly invented by the Chinese, there is an ancient form of torture that is nothing more than cold, tiny drops falling upon a person’s forehead.
On its own, a single drop is nothing. It falls upon the brow making a tiny splash. It doesn’t hurt. No real harm comes from it.
In multitudes, the drops are still fairly harmless. Other than a damp forehead, there really is no cause for concern.
The key to the torture is being restrained. You cannot move. You must feel each drop. You have lost all control over stopping these drops of water from splashing on your forehead.
It still doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But person after person, time and time again—would completely unravel psychologically. They all had a breaking point where each drop turned into a horror. Building and building until all sense of sanity was completely lost.
"It was just a joke, quit being so sensitive."
"They used the wrong pronoun, big deal."
"So your parents don’t understand, it could be worse."
Day after day. Drop after drop. It builds up. A single instance on its own is no big deal. A few drops, not a problem. But when you are restrained, when you cannot escape the drops, when it is unending—these drops can be agony.
People aren’t sensitive because they can’t take a joke. Because they can’t take being misgendered one time. Because they lack a thick skin.
People are sensitive because the drops are unending and they have no escape from them.
You are only seeing the tiny, harmless, single drop hitting these so-called “sensitive” people. You are failing to see the thousands of drops endured before that. You are failing to see the restraints that make them inescapable.
When we live in a world where you can access free content of naked consenting women in less than 5 seconds, why are people still invading the privacy of non-consenting women for nudes?
Hint: It has something to do with people feeling entitled to making any woman their personal porn, even if it violates or humiliates her in the process.