I really wish people would stop confusing a story being “light” or “dark” with it being “optimistic” or “cynical”. A story can be a light-hearted comedy and ultimately promote a really depressing and jaded worldview. It can also be dark and have lots of character death and ultimately end up with an uplifting, hopeful message (the last few Harry Potter books, anyone?)
Light/dark has to do with a work’s overall tone, and optimistic/cynical usually has to do with the message or theme. They aren’t necessarily related, and good writers will often mix and match them to play with audience expectations.
The fact that some people don’t get this ruins a lot of attempts at media analysis on the Internet.
(Addendum: Also, whether people are right about a work being “cynical” or not, I really wish people wouldn’t use that as a way to bash the work. I understand this is a reaction to other people doing the reverse - to the idea of “True Art is Angsty,” and I agree, that’s bullshit - but that doesn’t mean we should swing all the way to the other end of the spectrum. Both cynicism and optimism have their places. You aren’t like, revolutionary and against-the-grain for assuming optimism is always better; you’re just stupid in another direction. The costs of taking a more optimistic approach to a particular issue when a more cynical approach is necessary is just as high as vice versa, if not higher.)
Patriarchal justification for excusing the monstrous actions of men in order to punish women who did not tame them because they followed their own agenda.
The maid did not say she could spin straw into gold, but she’s the one who is expected to figure out the situation simply because she was trying to provide for her braggart father and the story rewards her with a demonic mad-with-power-prince and places the responsibility of saving lives on her, it is her job to figure out Rumplestilskien’s name.
It is not the maiden’s fault her father fell in love with her, but it’s still her responsibility to chop off her own hands lest they cause sin.
It’s not Cinderella’s fault her father married another and dies, and yet she’s expected to work without complaint and suffer quietly and eventually be rewarded for her good behavior.
Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t follow the rules and so, of course gets eaten. You make a perfect utopia with creatures of intelligence, made after your curious image (since, after all, you felt the need to create someone and change things.) and then give them one forbidden object and expect that, at some point, it will not be sampled?
What’s in the room and what’s in the tree and what is in the box and what is in the basement and what is in any forbidden book and object is the same. Justification for pain that was going to be delivered on the disenfranchised regardless for one thing or another, if not by men or monsters, then by Gods or devils. If you’re a woman in a fairy tale everything is trying to punish you, kill you, fuck you, or give you their version of a reward.
I was asked in an interview once: You’re writing another book with a female lead? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed? And I thought, I write a team superhero book, an uplifting solo hero book, I write a horror-western, and I write a ghost story. What am I gonna be pigeonholed as?
Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default. And you have to justify any variation from it."
Cosmo, you sexist piece of shit.
Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003)
a round of applause for patrick stump everyone.
improve your piece of media by adding non-sexualized lesbians. lesbian heros. lesbian villains. lesbian minor characters. old lesbians. young lesbians. chubby lesbians. poc lesbians. non-binary lesbians. firefighter lesbians. astronaut lesbians. queen lesbians. everyday lesbians. don’t give me that look chop chop more lesbians
I’m so frustrated by the flawed methodology in this book that I’m reading of cultural crit re: American sitcoms, guise. I can’t even handle this. It’s just bad academia. >:(
POPSUGAR has the exclusive first look at Nina LaCour’s new novel - EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU!
From the interview, Nina LaCour says:
"I wanted to write a love story between two girls that wasn’t about coming to terms with one’s sexuality or coming out. There are so many good books that deal with the complexities of both of those aspects of falling in love, but there aren’t enough YA lesbian romances where the characters are already out and accepting of themselves, where the story is simply about two girls falling in love. I think it’s important that young readers — all readers, really — find representations of all kinds of love in their books."
Before John Green, his general category of realistic (non-fantasy) YA was rife with teen angst and “issues” fiction that you might have associated with the legendary Judy Blume, or with newer writers like Sarah Dessen or Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson’s classic 1999 novel Speak, about a high schooler struggling to deal with the aftermath of sexual assault, was so influential that three years later Penguin launched an entire imprint named after it. One of the books launched under the behest of Speak was Green’s Looking for Alaska. But it’s Green whose name you’re more likely to know today, not Anderson’s, although Anderson has won more awards and written more books.
On Twitter, Green has 2 million followers. Compared to the rest of the leaders in Young Adult fiction, that number is staggering. To approach even half the Twitter influence of John Green all by himself, you need an entire army of YA women. Anderson, Blume, Dessen, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Rainbow Rowell, Maureen Johnson, Malinda Lo, Holly Black, LJ Smith, Ellen Hopkins, Shannon Hale, Lauren Myracle, Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, and Leigh Bardugo: As a group these women only have about 1.2 million followers on Twitter.
That’s the voice of one man outweighing several decades of women who have had major successes, critical acclaim, and cultural influence.
So there’s this thing that I’ve always known about, that @Karynthia, @Blackamazon, @so_treu @weseerace and @bad_dominicana discuss often, about how terms, ideas and scholarship that Black women create are not associated with their originators or even with any Black women at all (and not even speaking of just plagiarism; I mean erasure). Or worse, they’re used against Black women. Or even worse, people actively fight the terms’ existences especially within mainstream feminism.
Womanism. Intersectionality. Matrix of domination. Misogynoir. Four of the many concepts that are fought tooth and nail to not exist (especially the latter since it’s newest). Subject to the scrutiny of imperialist White supremacist capitalist patriarchy (this is bell hooks’ combined term) and how it shapes epistemology. Eventually once accepted, then they are disconnected from its originators often for the purpose of silencing other Black women. There’s people who use the terms and ideas to push their agenda (agendas that usually exclude Black women) yet none of the originators are anywhere on their sites. No tags. Not mentioned in conversation or teaching. Nowhere. And even when they discuss modern issues in feminism, they refuse to name Black women currently doing the work. They gladly name any White woman they’re referring to.
This is not about Black women wanting “White approval” as utterly boring and predictable Whites and some Black men (who also try to silence Black women with other Black women’s words) will suggest, a notion I already deconstructed in the past. It’s about a long history of taking and erasure. Taking. Erasure. This has a history as certain aspects of Black progressive politics are regularly appropriated and then used by Whites to shame or exclude Black people.
Anytime I mention Black women’s work, all of a sudden it becomes “unethical” or “greedy” to credit our work or idea spreading and education is deemed “impossible” if our names, contributions, ideas and praxis are mentioned. I am fascinated by multi-degreed, multiple column-writing White feminists who can’t figure out who coined “intersectionality” or what it actually means. This is willful ignorance shaped by a need to erase Black women’s work/relevance in feminism on the surface and marginalizes Black women, in general.