Nathan (melengro) wrote,

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Adventures in Internalised Misogyny

Over on TVTropes there is a page 'Real Women Never Wear Dresses'. This trope is the perception (not, thank God, presented as fact) that traditionally 'feminine' presentation or performativity makes a female character a less worthwhile part of a narrative or a worse 'role model' for a female audience. It annoys me that this attitude exists, and it annoys me even more that it's often in effect in real life. I am of the opinion that a lot (not all, but a lot) of this attitude comes from the fact that it's no longer socially acceptable to express explicit contempt for biological femaleness and so many people have an internalised contempt for the traditional signifiers instead.

I happen to know an individual who exemplifies this attitude. She is one of those people who I continue to be acquainted with because I do not want to get involved in the drama that would be attendant with expressing my opinion of her explicitly. She dislikes (or at least claims to dislike) her mother for being married, and way back in middle school beat up a girl for wearing a skirt at least once. I honestly would really rather just not talk to her ever, but for reasons that I don't care to get into that's not an option.

One of the things about this young lady is that she recently expressed, and I'm quoting this, 'nothing but contempt' for the idea that women in fiction who present in 'feminine' ways (wearing dresses, doing domestic chores, rearing children--even if they do plenty of other things as well) can ever be role models of any kind.  This originated from a discussion of the book series that I'm writing, which features as the badass fantasy hero who saves the world...a woman who refuses to kill anybody for any reason, whose powers are mostly related to coordinating transportation for the other characters, who is explicitly stated to wear skirts and dresses most days, and whose training is in Christian pastoral work with a focus in emotional care and support. At one point another character expresses surprise that she's 'equal parts Nana Komatsu and Harriet Vane'. In another urban fantasy series she'd probably be either The Chick or the woman who was held up as a negative counterexample against a more 'action-y' female lead. I wrote her this way deliberately, because I'm writing this series to a large extent to make these points about the way women are presented in SFF.

Anyway, when this acquaintance called this character, who I'm very proud of creating if you couldn't guess, an 'idiot bitch', you best believe I raged.

So, with the message 'Look, [Name], it's a group of really good female role models!', I sent her this:

This is the opening theme of the anime Sora no Woto, which is a very fine show if unfortunately undercut by the way it was paced and structured. Aside from the fact that the director is very clearly recapitulating his Klimt fascination from his work on Elfen Lied, the most notable things about this opening are the GORGEOUS Kajiura Yuki music and the fact that we're presented with a post-apocalyptic tank platoon in pretty flowing dresses and skirts.

To cut a long story short: SHE MAD.

I think I'm going to just start ignoring her responses now, but if any further interesting developments occur I'll let you know.
Tags: dear god that's bad, people suck sometimes, raaage!, weird anime, why?, writing things

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