Steve and Bucky share an apartment. They are poor, so poor. The temperature is mentioned at least once (either too hot or too cold). The fact that they live in Queer Brooklyn and know queerness exists is mentioned. Some extra with an Irish or Italian name or veeeery occasionally a Jewish name is mentioned in passing. No other groups lived in New York in this time. It is a fact. If the person has an accent and just came over and only Steve in all of New York is ever kind to them, even better. If Steve gets beat up trying to defend them from Racists, even better than that. Steve gets beat up in an alley defending at least one marginalized person. Steve is also listed as defending women in bars. Bucky does not work in underpaid alley and bar defense. Bucky works by the docks. Underpaid. But always by the docks. Forever the docks. Brooklyn is 99% docks. Bucky works for Steve. Steve was and/or is sick. Steve is so incredibly good despite his sickness. Bucky cannot take his goodness. They say at least one movie catchphrase: ‘pal’, or ‘to the end of the line,’ but probably ‘punk.’ Punk. Punk. Punk. This is a queer phrase, did you know? Bucky maybe dates a girl or seven; who she is and whether they in fact know anyone else in the world is irrelevant. She is maybe a lesbian anyway which we all saw coming because this is Queer Brooklyn. Steve perhaps pines for Bucky but mostly Steve is Good. Bucky thinks about how he is going to afford the rent with all this Depression and also Steve’s sickness.
I may not be a huge fan of the new Wonder Woman attire but you better believe I saved that photo of Gal as the lock screen on my phone so that it’s the first thing I see when I turn off my alarm in the morning and therefore motivates me to do better things with my life.
Example: I just purchased Guardians of the Galaxy tickets. IMPORTANT.
But I agree with you. It bothers me that I’m always told that I do strong female characters. When in reality, I look at my characters and I feel like they were all broken. They all came from a very devastating past. They were trying to achieve something, they had hope, and they wanted to get someplace, like everything other character that has a meaningful and relevant arc in the story.
It’s because we don’t really know women. We don’t write women accurately. We don’t see women the way that we should see women as a society, as a human race. When you see a real woman, you shouldn’t be saying she’s strong, you should be saying she’s real.
I’m not saying that Gamora is an exception, but you look at my character in Columbiana, and she’s stealthy, she’s agile, she’s physical. But even if I wasn’t physically agile, she would still carry the baggage of whatever happened in my childhood. And I handle myself in the way that I feel a woman should be. I don’t create it. It’s just something that comes natural.
So when people think they are paying me a compliment, in reality what we are saying as a society and as an art society, is that we need to focus more on the real aspect of what a woman is, and not the superficial cosmetic features of a woman as a muse to inspire us to create calendar girls. To create bombshells. To create serviceable characters, beautiful paintings of the girl with a pearl earring: if there’s nothing there behind it, it’s just her face - what’s the story?
”—Zoe Saldana, speaking to Den of Geek. These musings in particular are so wonderfully expressed.
"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”
Imagine being in a relationship in which you are treated like an equal, consciously and unconsciously, sexually, emotionally, socially, romantically, without being bound by gender expectations, without risk of pregnancy (or having your reproductive rights taken away from you), without feelings of inferiority, without being mistreated or neglected because men don’t understand your body and can’t be bothered to learn how to give you pleasure (or that you even deserve pleasure). Imagine having a reciprocating relationship with someone who knows how to touch you and how to talk to you, who will never abuse you or take away your consent. Imaging feeling powerful, safe, like the default rather than the specific or second-class. Imagine not requiring special handling by awkward, inconsiderate men who were never taught any better. Imagine being allowed to touch and enjoy and indulge without apprehension. Imagine being able to trust your partner. Imagine knowledge and understanding, someone who sees your depths and treats you the way you’d treat yourself if you hadn’t been told from birth that you weren’t worth it.
Girls aren’t “making them gay.”
Girls are fantasizing about being equal.
I have wondering about this in fandom for many years and reading this just made me tear up. I figured this was a big reason, but breaking it down to this extent made me so extremely sad. I realized a long time ago that even if I met the nicest guy in the world, I still have to battle all those things mentioned above. Just being friends is hard. I don’t have a happy history in this area like a lot of women and I have major trust issues with men and I wish somehow that wall could be broken down and we could all truly be seen as equal…as people with value. If you have all of the above with someone of the opposite sex then you are really lucky. See women are expected to give all those things listed above and settle for not getting them in return. I believe it’s a rare thing if you have it returned. Like I said, if I was with the nicest guy in the world I will always doubt myself, think he see’s me as different, talk to me different… Why? Because that’s our experience. This world raises us to believe we are worth absolutely nothing. The idea of being equal is one of our greatest fantasies.
It’s sad that it has to be a fantasy.
It’s totally sad.
But on the other hand, slash writers are some of the most empathetic people I know. And they’re great educators, too, probably in ways they might not expect. A good slash fanfiction writer can help women understand their desires and overcome some of those feelings of shame and worthlessness.
Think about how many girls have learned how to masturbate thanks to slash fanfiction.
Sometimes just knowing that we’re all reading and enjoying the stories is an immense comfort. People will tell you that slash is trash, that fangirls are desperate and pathetic, but ladies telling ladies that they’re allowed is a powerful thing.
Yeah, oh man. This is. Yeah, this is a lot. I especially feel the taboo surrounding female sexuality to the point that even though I’m Pretty Gay myself, I’m uncomfortable with my own sexuality (not as in orientation) and also dealing with the sexuality of other women. Like in some ways, I am always hesitant to appreciate sexiness in women because we are almost never shown female sexuality in a safe, respectful, and equal way and it still freaks me out.
I will never forget — and I wish so *badly* I still had a copy — the essay one of my exes wrote before she gafiated, in which she talked about how the act of writing slash and being part of the slash community in general had allowed her to “write herself back into her body”.
To, essentially, take off some of the blinders and filters western culture had put on her, all the things that had convinced her that, as an “overtall, fat, awkward, anxious, and altogether unattractive” person (she did have some anxiety issues, but none of the rest was true by any measure but all the lies we’ve ALL been told), she deserved neither happiness, nor romance, nor anything resembling sexual parity or satisfaction.
We met through fandom — she later told me she’d been quietly lurking on my mailing lists and around my websites for two years before she ever actually spoke to me — and we had four good years together before our relationship started to fall apart.
And, while not all of our happiness — together and separately — can be laid at the feet of the various slash goddesses, quite a lot of it can be.
Slash wrote *me* back into my body, too — several times, in several ways. Slash connected me to genders I never could’ve imagined, or could’ve imagined being *worth* connecting to in the days before I really understood the possibilities inherent to taking the media I had been given and *transforming* it.
We are *here*, and our pleasure is worth it — our pleasures, plural, are part and parcel of our identities.
And, you know, some of us, after we’ve been writing slash for a good, long while?
Find new ways to express those pleasures when women are there, new ways to understand those aspects of our sexualities — our *identities* — which include *hetero*sexuality.
It’s a journey. A process. A continuum. A spectrum. A *multiverse*.