I think I have a serious peeve, twitch, irk, grating aggravation conception against Prophecy in Fiction. But it's a specific type of prophecy - because I'm sat here thinking that ' I know Duke Crocker from Haven's meant to die at the hands of someone with a particular tattoo and it doesn't bother me'.
So, what's the difference? Well first of all? It's who made the prophecy. I actually know. And when it was made - recently. And why it was made - because this was the seers gift/curse to see how people will die.
Does such a curse/gift make sense? No, not really. But I can take a step back for the sake of the in universe logic. Such an ability exists. And it has foreseen this main character's death.
Which leads to number four. This is a prophecy about how someone will die. It's specific. Most of the time it's 'The prophecized one' and there's some hazy handwavium about greatness against darkness or against the ultimate or some shite like that. Sometimes it's 'this is the one prophezied to end you - great evil mustache twirling baddie'. And there's only one prophecy of such type I actually buy into - the one regarding a certain baby ending the days of a certain King. Ahem. And it's got nothing to do with faith. It's got everything to do with the structure of the story making it seem like fate is sending out wireless signals, and of course this king had a hookup with the right people to try and clone those signals and read the messages. It was not, let's say, a message he was supposed to get - but he was working the angles.
So I guess that's the second kind of 'prophecy' I can handle. When something is on the wings of magic or existence and some folks with the skill to read it (but who shouldn't be reading it), hijack into the future to find out stuff. And then? I honestly can't remember in this case if it was one item amidst dross, or if they were particularly searching for 'shall our employer be thwarted and leave us all out of jobs'.
I guess, I guess now that I'm writing it out - the thing that's upset me, aggravated me, pissed me off about prophecy in spec fic is that it's mostly a shortcut path to 'This is our chosen one - awwwh!' (cue the choir). The prophecy makes the character special. The prophecy means they were MEANT to do xyz and 123. The prophecy is guiding the tale, guiding their lives, blah blah blankety blah blah.
No one ever knows who gave the phrophecy. No one ever discusses the reliability of the source. No one ever discusses the possibility the information within it might have been warped - given that these shortcuts to greatness tend to be decades upon decades old, sometimes centuries old. Who the heck was trying to hijack the future that far ahead and for what purpose? it's just 'There is a Chosen One w/i this prophecy and that prophecy and this is the one! Awwwh!' (cue the choir again).
There's never a culture set up in these universes of honoring prophets either. Of say, having individuals for whom jacking into fate or the future is their gift/curse, and they have special school/temples/complexes with archives and librarians and they just see EVERYTHING (the poor suckers) and it all gets written down and someone somewhere decides that this prophecy is nothing but The Farm Cycle. And that orphecy is 'OMG The Royal House Shall Fall!!!'
Also, why are there never any consequences involving these prophecies? And no, I'm not meaning just in time for the protaganist to have some conflict. But why hasn't the 'Royal House' which 'Shall Fall' not hidden the prophecy, destroyed it, refuted it, burnt and salted the earth of the place where it came to be. Why isn't there a culture AGAINST seers (as much as there should be one for them)? Why isn't there misinformation purposely spread so this or that noble house could continue to survive, so that someone couldn't attempt to fit the bill of said prophecy in order to defeat their enemies (or maybe just people they didn't like)?
There is one other prophecy I actually liked. From the movie BulletProof Monk. And what I liked about it there is that the SAME prophecy held true for each individual who'd end up being 'special' over the years. That it was like a contract with fate "Once these circumstances happen, these individuals will be primed to be the next xyz." Like a program with a loop. In which case it feels less shortcut and more 'When the time is right, you will begin to know because fate loops this way. These things will always happen'. When you say something will ALWAYS happen - then it gets mystical to me. Then I don't take a step back so much, or at least can take a step forward into the world again, because the same circumstance for each individual through the years? That's actually interesting to me. And in the case of BulletProof Monk (the movie) it's VERY interesting. Because it's very specific. But not just for 'one' chosen, for every chosen. Ever. Forever. And it says nothing about whether said individual will succeed or fail - just that 'when these things happen, pay attention to this individual - it will be important'.
So what do we have, what do I have?
I need to know who made the prophecy. Why they made it. When they made it. How it's lasted so long (if it's been years and years). Is it untampered? What about it gives it the ring of truth? Was it specifically looked for? Is it about a specific situation? A specific circumstance? Was the seer trustworthy? Why does this prophecy matter? Why was the prophecy created ?
What I don't need; what I cannot enjoy reading is 'And the BLAH TITLE BLAH Prohecy has states a chosen one will come, and lo there will be turmoil, and yea verily the ultimate moment of the ultimate struggle shall arise....'
[hah, it looks like somethings just feel as if they belong here - even though, OMGWF is w/ all the white and open space blogger. Oh my EYES. Andwhy are my tags all squished up in a corner? OMG the gurbleick!]
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Considering that I'm active on there almost daily, as compared to over here which had dropped down to about twice a month, I'm thinking it's time I put it as an 'official move'. If there's a way to combine blogger and tumblr (blogging and tumbling/micro-blogging), I'll update here about it.
But I just did an introspective post on Tumblr (one of many in recent days in fact) that makes it seem likely that Seeking Avalon; Version 3 is over there. And I've changed the name to suit(well, will put in the V3 once I figure out subtitles). It is the new Seeking Avalon, at least as of now.
I have no idea what upkeep of posts will be like here. So, yeah, official announcement, blah blah blah.
Hmm, I wonder if the solution might be a multi-post client....
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Under byline S. Willow, I wrote a Korra review for site: Pop Culture Social Club. It came out today.
I was asked to write a review about the show; The Legend Of Korra, a universe sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLAB). The problem is, I can’t. I can’t, because that’s not the show I watched. That’s not the show that was presented. The show I watched was ‘Tales From Republic City’. And it was a very specific type of tale – a traditional kyriarchial, not particularly Asianic tale about the call to adventure for several men. I didn’t enjoy it very much.
Legend of Korra (LoK) was supposed to be about the Avatar; the one elemental master capable of utilizing all four (or depending on your point of view, if you include ‘Spirit’, all five) of the elements. And yet the title character, the supposed central character is woefully misused. Despite being in mostly every scene, Korra and her related themes didn’t have much of a developed role. For a show called LoK, there really wasn’t much about Korra, or her actions that was specifically legendary.
More of the essay here, at their site.
Friday, July 20, 2012
So I've been messing about on Tumblr after all (http://seekingwillow.tumblr.com). It's got people I've missed talking/interacting with - but it's still nothing but a rolling comment system. I'm wary of my content there, trying not to put too much on, etc.
I think I've missed conversations.
And I could have conversations here, except Blogger's comment system has never been the best for that; I loathe Disqus; and it'd still involve moderation of asshats.
I guess I should figure out crossposting for when I do more than comment on other people's stiff - which hasn't been often. And I should probably transfer the few posts I've made here given I have the original posts written offline.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I met a comic book geek today - the exterminator. When he was spraying in my bedroom, he noticed my collection. Said it looked like I was a Marvel Fan. I said, no actually Batman's my favorite, those are all just the ones that I feel like dusting. Anyway, I ended up having a conversation wherein I was face to face with, I think an average guy - a comic book, specifically superhero guy.
And he's excited by the 'New Superman'. And the new Green Lantern. Recced me his favourite local/nearby comic book store.
But he also said somethings. Some things, not just about liking that Superman bleeds now and even loses sometimes and that makes him more relatable - while I stood there thinking about Superman's extended cast being in danger or held hostage or his principles holding him back and wondering if that kind of writing is somehow not 'enjoyable' to the average fan - even one saying he likes that Superman has to try and out think his foes now.
The thing he said was - I'm an average comic book geek and I think girls who like comics are the best of both worlds. It's awesome.
I was able to distract him - unintentionally - from his job (he still had to deal with upstairs) for about a good 15 minutes just talking about comics; talking about learning to read on comics, and having fallen for old school representations of certain characters; growing up on Alan Scott's Green Lantern and The Phantom and Dick Tracy and reading Spiderman and Batman and World's Finest and Huntress as Helena Kyle Wayne.
And it just struck me that he thought I was so uncommon. Either cause I'm black and a woman individually or combined. And I don't think I'm uncommon at all.
And I was just struck in a visceral way on expectations and representation and self-fulfilling prophecy. I may always be that woman he had a conversation about comics with this one time on a job, who talked about her father getting her comics and her father's favourites and her own. And other graphic novels and Watchmen and more. And maybe it'll mean something uncommon to him, that I was talking about old school character history and a 'remember when'.
And maybe it wouldn't be so damn uncommon if the perception courted and perpetuated that 'Girls/Women Don't Read Comics'. If it was accepted that we like a good story as much as anyone, have favourites, are interested in elseworlds, can say things like 'Damien's kind of Jason 2.0'. And 'Dick will never be my Batman' - if we weren't treated as such an oddity.
The last time I felt like such an 'oddity' was back in highschool being quizzed. And it felt that way again, with him watching my face to see if I knew who this person was, or that person, or this arc or that arc. Dropping 'Logan' as if I don't know it's Wolverine. Or Kingdom Come as if I'd have never heard of it (granted I read the novel). Though maybe I shouldn't think of it as a test, maybe he was just being geeky the way I was just being geeky for that 15 minutes; talking about growing disinterested or dropping Marvel or DC or both, and friends who've given up or gotten back in.
But it still felt so weird and oddly upsetting, that it wasn't 'Oh hey, a comic book fan'. But 'OMG! A comic book fan! Really? Are you really?!'
Monday, June 11, 2012
ETA: Snippet from response2
"We also desire Portraits of differing ethnicities for the Player, and
perhaps this is something we will be able to do in Year 2. It certainly is
a reasonable request."
Putting this in a separate post, because, wanting representation/ to see myself; having to send an email and point out the lack of representation, having to deal with their excuses of; dragons, magic, floating islands, but having nonwhites just wouldn't quite work, but you're asking for it is a 'reasonable request'....
The expectation that I and me and mine should have to BEG and ASK and POINT OUT we deserve to show up?
IS SOMETHING I FUCKING RESENT.
No. fucking. more.
I shouldn't even have sent the first damn email. Or pointed out the Moors and the Renaissance aren't mutually exclusive in the second. I sure as hell ain't pointing out that if someone had to email them to ask 'where are the girls?' and be told 'that's a reasonable request, maybe in year 2' - perhaps they might, maybe could see the problem 'clearer' as relates to humanity and representation.
I don't need to give them my money (especially when they don't seem to fucking want it).
Despite my better judgement, I have just sent off an email via the 'contact us' mailto link at Academagia, asking them if they have any response over the fact there are no nonwhite character portraits and I had yet to see any nonwhite NPC character portraits.
But I'm going to say publically right now? That I RESENT having to do so. I resent having to bring up the fact that there are people making games who have forgotten that me and mine exist. I resent having to 'remind' them that I exist. I resent the types of replies others before me have gotten (from other spheres), and which I will more than likely get here, full of dithering and blabbering about 'not seeing colour' and aw shucks, and whatever - if I get a reply back at all.
Something as simple as a character portrait; far less expensive than pervasive character models - and yet, there wasn't one thought that in a world of dragons and magic and magical schools and people being born under stars of destiny - IT JUST MIGHT NOT BE AN ALL WHITE WORLD.
Or there just might be People of Colour, interested in fantasy and games and magic and visual novels who'd appreciate seeing characters like themselves?
The bullshit that the only colour creators and businesses see is green (or whatever colour money is dominant in their living area) is just that; BULLSHIT.
Because clearly, these individuals don't want my money. It's not good enough somehow.
Tell me that's not something to resent; the lack of acknowledgement of my existence as a person, of the history that went into creating me, of my interests and hobbies.
Tell me it's not something to resent, this lack of people who look like my family, my neighbours, my friends, my community, and my ancestors. And as a multiracial individual? I'm speaking of a broad range of brown and black and dark and non white here.
PS: I refuse to spend money on games where I have to do modifying work in order to see a fantasy version of my reality, one that includes me as I am. This isn't about games where you don't get to choose the propagandist so you're making a choice at the start when you buy it to be this or that gender, or this or that ethnicity with this or that set of skills. The background ability for creation in this game is IMMENSE. In fact scouring the forums, it seems the characters (with portraits) are meant to grow and age over a five year period as the game progresses with installments. So much thought. So much detail. They just stopped short of offering up a world with nonwhites in it. Whereas a somewhat similar game? Magical Dairy? Does include PoC, including as a possibility for the PC.
ETA: Snippet from response
"On the other hand, while the City of Mineta is very cosmopolitan, the Renaissance/Reformation setting precludes a lot of long-distance travel and thus the majority are caucasian."
Totally what I expected. I am so. damn. done.
ETA: Snippet from response2
"We also desire Portraits of differing ethnicities for the Player, and
perhaps this is something we will be able to do in Year 2. It certainly is
a reasonable request."
ETA: PS 'non-caucasian ethnicity', doesn't exist. Being caucasian isn't an ethnicity. South East Asians are caucasian, their ethnicity is South East Asian. Straight up, talk about nonwhite, it's whiteness that's the problem. But of course, they won't.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
I have, strong but incomplete thoughts on 'modeled behavior'. Why it matters, how it contributes to intergenerational trauma, how it's influenced and perpetuated by the media and why the very acknowledgement of it, as a concept and function of healthy human dynamics in broader generalized terms makes so much aversive racism/I didn't know it was racism defensiveness when called out, equal so much BULLSHIT.
There's also something brewing about sexism and other isms being modeled; from where they're being modeled, how they're modeled (and excused) and how that creates self-perpetuating systems of oppression.
But the thoughts aren't complete, because there's so, very much involved, from the dog whistle; children need two married parents/two married heterosexual parents, to gays turn you gay. This thing where somehow it's only ever parents who deviate from the (societally approved) 'norm' modeling behavior, but no one and nothing else is creating a framework for which any and everyone from ages 0-30 picks up concepts on how to handle the world around them.*
But basically? Gay Panic Defense? Modeled. Rape Culture? Modeled. Sexism? Modeled. All those books talking about the commodification and sexualization of girlhood? They're discussing modeling. The doll test? That was about what was modeled.
And there are hazier thoughts about what European, European Descended interference in PoC ways of life, tribal structure, family structure - the degradation, humiliation and subjugation of various peoples was modelling and how coping mechanisms of that were modeled and how striking out past that began to be categorized as mental illness - schizophrenia, how draptamania was recategorized and given a different name.
With a side point (intergral but a little parallel) about how veterans of bullshit horrid childhoods who want to move past and embrace their lives and true self-worth have to deprogram themselves, accept that what was modeled wasn't healthy, so they don't internalize it and stay frozen all their lives (emotionally, mentally) or worse, become an abuser/oppressor.
But like I said, incomplete. Possibly because it all infuriates me so damn much.
*Footnote: The advertising industry hires experts on child psychology to streamline the best models of behavior to put into their products to get children nagging, bugging, throwing tantrums and demanding products. It's behavior they're actively cultivating - the modeling presented in their work. Not just for children, though for me that's the most atrocious, but attacking insecurities to get people to 'buy more stuff' / the shift from promoting the product, to selling a lifestyle, selling fear, selling a sense of not being good enough without their products or the stamp of approval of their brand.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
When I first came to the USA, I hated Black Americans. I didn't realize I hated them, but I did. Mostly because I didn't know what the fuck was going on, and they seemed to. But everytime I was in a place, as time passed and I got older, to ask what was going on? I got told I needed to accept I was black.
And I didn't. I couldn't.
The way it was phrased didn't come across to me as anything different than what White Americans had told me the moment I showed up; lose the accent, lose the references, stop being so strange, watch our shows, talk our talk, give up who you are.
I wasn't Black - I was Caribbean. I was Trini. I was Bajan one generation removed and naturalized.
And Black Americans kept telling me - No. You're Black.
And I kept saying, though not in these exact words. Fuck you. I will not give up who I am. I will not give up what I am.
I've mentioned before in other places, how much it cost me, how much it still hurts to have given up so much to accept being Black. Because you see, I had to. I was clueless for too damn long and it was hurting me. I couldn't see the fists punching me, couldn't understand why, it all seemed nonsensical, because I couldn't see the pattern. And I couldn't see the pattern, because the pattern started, with me being Black.
My father told me a while back, that coming to the USA meant that when he awaked in the morning, he's no longer a man. He's a Black man. And he had to come to accept that. Embrace it. Live with it. Deal with it.
There's a lot of layers; just the tip involving model minority issues, colorism, immigration issues some Black Americans don't think they need to pay attention to because it doesn't affect them and more, bound up in my family's confusion in dealing with being Black and relating to people who identified as Black.
There's a lot of cultural issues. Again something my father has mentioned and I too discovered on my own. Coming from a culture where the one who keeps their temper and is the most reasonable is King, to a culture where the one who's most aggressive, is seemingly most powerful, is King; Our politeness looks like weakness. Someone else's aggression looks like a lack of self-control.
I think there's a lot of confusion too. Maybe not as an adult. I don't know. I'm speaking from my memories as a child. From being told about Black American Culture, and Pan-Africanness and not at all getting it. Because I was lucky enough to grow up in an atmosphere where I took certain foods, clothing, music & rhythms, ways of talking and relating for granted.
Then came a time, a couple of years ago, maybe a decade or so ago? When I started listening. Don't know how or why it happened. Maybe it was that a Black Female Voice, a strong voice, sounded familiar. Or maybe it was because those voices were talking about something that wasn't about difference; but something I could identify with; something I had begun to experience and consciously recognize.
They were talking about being black and female and looked down upon. About expectations, and being touched without permission, and the random hair fondling - sweet heaven's mercy the random hair and skin fondling. But they were also talking about the atrocities of slavery and how that echoed through the generations.
I'd just begun to make sense of my own uncomfortable feelings about having my personal boundaries transgressed, not just by family members/dysfunctional dynamics surrounded extended family etc... I also knew the history they mentioned.
I knew about it. I'd grown up learning that history. It was my history. But it was also theirs. And it was no longer abstract, because they weren't talking about it, the way I'd heard it in USian schools - at a remove. They were talking about it, the way I'd heard it growing up; real and painful and gritty and blood ties.
So, I started listening. And listening. And listening.
And it made me feel a little better, not just to realize I'd given up (or felt like it) who I was to accept the label black for a reason even if I hadn't been able to articulate it. But that I didn't have to give up anything at all. That there was a term - multi-racial. That there were people aware of what it meant to be multi-racial and the child of multi-racial parents, and to live in a state of culture fusion.
That there were people who while stressing that here and now, in this place and culture I found myself living in, I needed to understand I was Black - these people weren't phrasing it to me as something I had to choose and something I had to give up. And I was old enough by then to understand it for myself and not just take an adults word that that is what they wanted.
But I was listening. And these voices talked and dealt with pain and anger. And hearing it, it helped me identify mine. Because I listened. Because I respected them because previously I had been listening. And I wondered 'Why are they so angry? Why are they so hurt?' And then I realized, I was hurt and angry too. I just hadn't put a name to it, confronted it, lived in it. It'd been pushed to the back of my mind. But here these women were, doing more than surviving, doing more than living behind a scab, numb and unknowing.
The thing about being angry though? About acknowledging hurt and wrongs? It's a point wherein you don't forget anymore. You don't ignore. You notice things. You notice a lot of things, and you start to interpret what you see, without that buffer in the way to divert things to a 'safer place'.
In hindsight, it makes sense that as I grew stronger and recovered from an abusive childhood, I'd incorporate what I was learning into my every-day life. I'd begin to recognize there were abusers I'd been giving a pass to. People and institutions hurting me, that I hadn't wanted to admit were doing what they were doing.
I don't know if the voices that guided me were going through similar with professional help, or if they, perhaps like both our foremothers had to figure it out for themselves, bit by painful bit and imprint the picture on their minds so they wouldn't forget.
Aside: There's a point here I'm not sure how to make succinctly let, about learning in fits and starts about Black American Culture, Being Black In Northern America. That it is a culture, with a history and dynamics of it's own. That it's not all at all about loss and lack and the past. It's a living, growing culture, constantly under attack and being co-opted. But my understanding about that, came about as I began to understand better the concept of cultural imperialism and dominance, and what older relatives had been fighting against. That fighting imperialism and loss of something they'd held on to through the generations, became associated with pushing against ALL USians. All North Americans.
When Black American Culture gets co-opted and pushed as 'just plain ole modern Americana', if you don't know the history? You, or at least I, didn't see a difference. Someone promoting their culture in a certain way, seemed like someone promoting their culture over mine or, unfortunately, not having any culture to lose and try to hold onto in the first place.
It's been hitting me hard, that even now, there's this 'tower of babel' affect going on, actively being promoted, that keeps or at least can keep, various African Descended Peoples from talking to and with one another. It goes on in intra PoC ethnicities as well, because the medium, the messenger is tainted - it's oftentimes being controlled by other than any of us.
Dub & Rap I both started hearing, noticing at around the same time in the 80's. I'm not someone to know which came first, or discuss the difference in rhythms, beat and cadence. I do know that the moment dub became associated with 'American Rap' - it didn't matter to the adults in my immediate surroundings that it was homegrown. It became associated with things - with violent things. And these days I find myself wondering a lot at approach and perception - because if what was being discussed in rap, had been sung in Calypso - I don't think many in my personal extended family would so much have blinked; respect your mothers and the women in your life? Embrace creativity? Remember the past? Hold your head up high? Fight the powers that bind you? Money's important but shouldn't be too important? Sometimes you just want to shake it loose and dance? Y'know, Old School Original Rap?
But that association, with a power that was changing a culture, that consistently seemed to say 'you're good and quaint for a vacation, but really, why are you so backwards'?
Now I understand it as same shit, only slightly different 'flavour' as 'But Black Americans ain't ever done nothing, created nothing, had nothing...etc...' Or as I like to call it ' Ragtime, Jazz & Honky Tonk just sprang out out of thin ass air, cause America is just like that - bullshit'.
TL;DR? I personally took the time to listen, and found a community filled with people I could talk to, with and about certain things. But it's the listening that's the hardest part. In my case it was unfortunately having enough experience to identify with what I'd heard, but until I could recognize the experiences were the same or similar? I just had to trust someone else's lived experience. I had to trust there was a reason for the anger and be in a place to recognize that anger is a damn healthy reaction in the first place. And a healthy reaction doesn't hurt anyone who acknowledges it for what it is.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Thoughts come at me from all over. In this case, watching a video about the Mass Effect 3 ending a few weeks ago, I heard someone break down the meaning of informed choice / informed decision, for why the endings are horrible; namely that without knowing the full consequences of your actions, without being able to interrogate for more information, any choice you make is no real choice because you cannot internally follow a line of logic to a reasonable conclusion. They brought up the Socratic process, reasoning, logic and several other things.
For me, something I had always taken for granted, as understood, was laid out into words and via an analogy and it became the difference between instinct and logic; the difference between arriving at the answer at the math problem without being able to show the work, and having three sheets of proofs.
[Mass Effect 3 Ending: Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage (SPOILERS) - 4:11 - 4:40]...
"Back in the day in Ancient Greece, Socrates would sometimes wake up in the morning, put on his best philosophising robe, go down to his academy, stroke his beard thoughtfully and then ask one of his students a question that began with; Suppose _______. He would outline a hypothetical situation and challenge his students to use their creativity and reason to determine the proper thing to do. This is called a Socratic Exercise."
Mass Effect 3 Ending: Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage (SPOILERS) - 11:50 - 12:20 ]...
"Details used to matter in Mass Effect. But in the ending they're ignored. How can I make this choice, if I don't know what the possible consequences of it are. Where's the agency in making a choice if I don't understand what it is that I'm doing. That's not a choice at all, it's just something that superficially resembles one.
This is not a socratic exercise anymore, because I can't approach it with logic and reason. I can only approach it with flimsy conjecture or by trying to second guess the intentions of the writer."
I grew up calling Socractic Exercises - 'Mom's Homework', 'Grandpa's Story Time', & 'Daddy's Being Difficult'. I've been doing them, since I was about three. Reasoning on this level is instinctive to me and it had never quite occurred to me that others couldn't follow said reasoning and didn't utilize it for everything.
Thus why the video made an impact for me, in terms of the phrase 'Informed Consent'. Informed Consent is about making an aware choice, making a rationed decision. And I've heard about it for decades specifically in regards to sexuality, and a woman's autonomy. And it seemed a cultural thing that it had to be reminded about, in those cases in particular.
If judgement is impaired then you can't make good choices, that seemed obvious to me; especially considering the fact that judgement being impaired by sleepiness, can result in not turning on the bathroom light for a middle of the night pee, and falling into the toilet bowl if there are certain people in the house. You're not making the best decisions - able to partake in the best decision making process when you're half asleep.
Sleepiness, sleep deprivation impairs judgement; logical. Chemicals in the system also impairs judgement. And thus hormones in the system also impairs judgement and emotional states are often associated with surges of hormones and thus emotional states are also a place of possibly impaired judgement.
Except, not so simple. Not so simple at all and I kept running nose first into how not simple it was and being horribly confused by the lack of thinking.
And I just saw it again. Not just a lack of respect for what Informed Consent and an Informed Decision means, but a kind of Assumed Consent, that's been scaring me for ages now.
What prompted me to write this post - the final straw; a tumblr response by Blogitty-Blog-Blog" regarding a post where there's an image of a young boy, claiming when he was 14, he got his young girlfriend pregnant and 'she killed my son'.
“Why must the fetus pay the price of the parents mistakes?”...It’s not just the males fault, but also the female. She lost her right to her body when she let him inside her, so anything she says about how it is her body is utter b.s...I am completely against what they did as it was stupid in every sense of the word. This is why we have an age of consent... But that’s yet again another human being who has had the right to life stolen from them because some uptight women feel that their body is more precious than that of a baby. Nice move there. It shows real respect for other people, great empathy skills."
Aside from the fact that I find Blogitty showing absolutely no empathy of their own right now, even as they call out what they claim to be the sociopathy of people who believe women have a right to determine what happens to their own bodies - there are other things as, or possibly more and relatedly disturbing.
"She lost her right to her body when she let him inside her, so anything she says about how it is her body is utter b.s..."
"...because some uptight women feel that their body is more precious than that of a baby."
I've been having some thoughts for a while now, about sexuality portrayals in main stream media (particularly USian), with some focus on porn. And it's all swirling together around the concepts of informed decision making, personal autonomy and how so much porn, erotica, sexual portrayals in varied media, is saturated in a Culture of Assumed Consent To Objectifaction which, if it isn't the same thing AS Rape Culture is pretty damn close to it.
There seems to be this definition of sexual activity as kyriarchal status choice that doesn't get the spotlight in places where not only can I see it and involve myself in it, but where young women (and young men) can become involved as well. When I do see it, it's usually flying over the heads of huge swathes of the population; namely the white population, as WoC on Tumblr discuss it as it (assumed consent to objectification + assumed consent to sexual objectification)relates to repercussions to Women of Colour, due to centuries of institutional white prejudicial racist baggage on their bodies and in particular the repercussions to WoC in traditional subservient service jobs.
I see conversations on the intersection, but not broader conversations about the origins, power and control of this Assumed Consent Culture and how to attack and dismantle it; possibly because too many white individuals are busy trying to justify their personal emotions on a thing - and thus miss the point of how and why it and all intersections should be feminist issues but currently aren't.
'She lost her right to her body when she let him inside her, so anything she says about how it is her body is utter b.s...' - Combine that thinking with purity balls. Combine that thinking with abstinence only sexual awareness programs. Combine that, with porn that has increasingly shifted to a near sociopathic level of objectification; where recievers of the phallus are automatons with holes to be brutalized, disrecpected and subjected to all manners of uncleanness and pain.
Here I admit I haven't seen much male on male / gay porn, to note if the language of the scenes; the subtext is the the same as what I've observed just being alive right now, and dealing with heterosexual based porn (in advertising to actual erotica). But I'm going to keep trying to keep my language inclusive.
This stuff scares me. The unchecked, non-perceptive, privilege assumed domination going on regarding sexuality, scares me. That the first time someone has penetrative (any form of it) sex, if there's not a ring/marriage license, some form of possessive framework in play then that body no longer has any autonomy... and if that person is not white, they never had it and will never have it.
Further, if that person has sexual aspects outside the mainstream then they're ASSUMED to have consented as well, to sociopathic objectification.
Thus consequently, individuals who are not white, who have sexual aspects outside the mainstream, in such an environment, not only aren't counted as people, but are often assumed to have consented to everything and anything with anyone and attempts to affirm that they maintain personal autonomy is often met with violence, brutality and rage.
But let me back up. A culture of Assumption of Consent / Assumed Consent (a little rape culture, a larger layer of kyriarchy...) - what is it that it is assumed an individual is consenting to? What stereotypes are playing into that? What isn't being thought about, because it's been the brick layer foundation of interaction for so long and people are loathe to change it?
'She lost her right to her body when she let him inside her, so anything she says about how it is her body is utter b.s...'
So the girlfriend of a 14yr old boy, thought she was giving informed consent to him, and only him. Whether or not she was capable of giving said consent in the first place - let's put that on pause for now. It is apparently assumed that she KNEW, and understood, fully, that she lived in a society that deemed her first penetrative sexual experience as a fully aware declension into non-citizen, non-human status? That she CHOSE this new status?
And even the fact that she got pregnant, thus to my mind proving she had not at all been prepared for the consequences of having piv sex, and thus wasn't truly able to make an informed decision - she's still held to have lost ALL RIGHTS to her own body?
Ignorance of the law does not excuse crossing it?
Uhm, doesn't that attempt to criminalize sex? Oh wait. Forcing pregnant women to have children they don't want has been seen as 'fit and proper punishment' for the longest time already, hasn't it. And cross dressing and homosexuality actually has been criminalized in the past and is still on the books in some places, or was as recently as ten to twenty years ago.
Thing is? If people had actually consented to dehumanization, objectification, violence, brutality and pain? Then yes, they could be considered deviant. And then it would make sense, perhaps, to have debates and dialogues about if there was anyway that could ever be experienced in any kind of safe space / why would anyone want to experience, etc...etc... I'm not versed in BDSM culture except the barest of basics; I apologise if my phrasing is offensive. Email and let me know.
But just living your life? Just being non-white? Just being someone who has received penetrative sex outside of sanctioned marriage or a long term relationship or whatever that arbitrary goalpost is? That's not choosing deviance. Nor is it somehow accepting the truth of some blatant obvious signpost of natural/inherited wtf ever deviance. That's NOT an informed decision to CHOOSE a lesser status than human*.
Hmm, maybe next time I'll get around to posting what disturbs me about the kyriarchal dominance games in an assumption one has chosen to be a dehumanized, sexualized object and how I relate it to the term 'kyriarchal status'.
* BDSMers aren't choosing to be thought of, seen as, or actually be sub human or less than human either. May need to work on that phrasing.
OT PS: As much as there's a thriving community of conversations on Tumblr that interests me and I have looked into missing e quite recently; I'm upset at notes that images etc, can be removed by Tumblr staff - lack of autonomy of one's tumblr space. That, plus their lack of following through non racistly on abuses towards Bloggers of Colour - has me disinclined to join the medium.