We read “The Odyssey” and the word ‘sexist’ was never mentioned but to be fair I did not need it.
We read “The Odyssey” and the word ‘sexist’ was never mentioned but I understood that Penelope was loyal to Odysseus, and beautiful and clever.
We read “The Odyssey” and Penelope was beautifully clever and she wove a miracle from the yarns of the suitors’ sexism: the status quo. She was not married against her will. Her son was not murdered. Her maids, perhaps, were not raped.
The suitors did not know because women are stupid. The suitors did not know because womens’ work is not worth attention. The suitors did not know because no woman could want something if they did not want it for her.
The suitors did not know because they were sexist and Penelope wound them up in it until they could not move.
Homer praised her for her loyalty, for her purity and efforts to maintain it. I heard his every vicious insult for what it was and bristled. She was not worthy because of her success in her devotion or the devotion itself.
Fourteen years as a girl gave me expertise. I did not need to be told that Homer, his story and his characters, were sexist.
Fourteen years as a girl and millennia on my side and I knew without saying that Penelope’s heroism was not reliant upon her husband or what she was to him. I did not share Homer’s contempt and if she had remarried in those nineteen years it would not have made her worthy of Odysseus’ blade. I did not share Homer’s contempt and if a suitor had wedded her against her will it would have been a tragedy.
I was fourteen and I knew it and I said nothing because I was not asked. Instead I copied out epithets and located metaphors and filled out plot-based quizzes: yes, I had done the required reading.
But there is a story I was fourteen years old and missed.
The suitors did not know because they were sexist and Penelope wound them up in it until they could not move and somehow that saved her, somehow her subversion allowed her the freedom to live in her own house a prisoner and a ward of her captors. A woolen wall of duty to another man swaddled her and held her safe and away, untouchable.
The suitors did not know because they were sexist and Penelope wove a trap of obligation and stepped inside and sprung it holding her within and them without. She sat in the trap and preserved herself but there were fifty maids who served her, not a man, and her miracle of status quo did nothing for them.
A dozen maids would be killed for their crime of intrigue before the story’s end but we do not hear their stories’ starts. They do not get to speak them. Their tongues jut purple from their mouths after Odysseus rips their feet from the ground but we do not know how many times these girls clenched their teeth on hospitality, on service, and did as their unwelcome guests, their conquerors, bid them.
One hundred and eight men invaded and set up their army’s base in the dwelling place of fifty-one women, and twelve were hanged for their submission to the wrong man while the right man was held just as captive on an island seas away by goddesses whom he could not refuse.
We read “The Odyssey” and the word ‘rape’ went as unuttered on our lips as it did the serving girls’.
We read “The Odyssey” and my teacher noted Odysseus’ tears of homesick regret and required us to consider the changing gender norm: a strong man could cry once upon a time. But she did not tell us that a strong man could be raped.
We read “The Odyssey” and we did not talk about the how presence of coercion revokes the possibility of consent and we did not hear that the lack of ability to voice a refusal is never the same as a ‘yes.’
We read “The Odyssey” and the twelve girls strung up by their necks in the book might as well have been the girls in the class strung up in a world that does not ask for their assent but instead tries to silence their ‘no’s. They were not told that if they became victims the blame was never theirs but instead the person who forced victimhood upon them.
We read “The Odyssey” and the sailors turned to pigs in the book might as well have been the boys in the class reduced to animals, their voices stripped away and their bodies betraying them, suddenly vulnerable to another’s vicious whims. They were not told that their arousal was worthless without their ability to choose.
Fourteen years as a girl had taught me to recognize and to loathe sexism but not to recognize enthusiastic consent when present and rape when not.
I was fourteen and I did not know it and I was not told.
Now I am almost twenty-one and thanks to the curriculum I was forced to learn back then I can recognize Athena’s ex deus machina that brought Ithaca from civil war to unity but I cannot hope that she will use it again, that she will return to her disguise as mentor, as ninth grade English teacher, and lead this generation through the odyssey of conversations this story ought to be starting.
Here’s a test:
I’m holding a baby in one hand and a petri dish holding a fetus in the other.
I’m going to drop one. You chose which.
If you really truly believe a fetus is the same thing as a baby, it should be impossible for you to decide. You should have to flip a coin, that’s how impossible the decision should be.
Shot in the dark, you saved the baby.
Because you’re aware there’s a difference.
Now admit it
Holy crap I went to OP’s blog and they’re actually responding to some of the reblogs trying to critique this! Dunno if they’ll respond to me, but!
I fully expect that any pro-life person who took a minute to actually think about this instead of reacting emotionally to what they think is a choice between two murders would save the baby every time. As they should.
Because that fetus in your petri dish in your hand is already dead.
That doesn’t mean they don’t believe that the fact that the fetus was removed from a womb was murder if it was removed through human intervention. That doesn’t mean that they don’t believe that the fetus is fully a person and deserving of all the rights of personhood.
I am incredibly unimpressed with the circlejerk of uncritical reblogging that I’ve seen from all the pro-choice people I have on my dashboard and I am incredibly unimpressed with the quality of discourse here.
“I believe that abortion is murder and murder isn’t justifiable” is basically what I understand the pro-life platform to be.
“Look this fetus isn’t actually a baby (and therefore isn’t really a person and cannot have the rights that people get) and we both know it and we both know we both know it and look I’ll prove it by your own reaction to a hypothetical scenario” doesn’t dismantle that argument in the slightest.
I don’t understand why anyone is pretending otherwise.
transponderer asked: I'm curious now, what is your headcanon about Trelawney?
Oh dear. TMI Tuesday, I said. Remember that.
Her family was and is rather migratory and the whole ‘Statute of Secrecy’ thing is largely…ignored in their family’s particular community. Their witches and wizards don’t go to Hogwarts for education, they’re taught by the older witches and wizards in the community.
They evade problems from the MoM because 1) ‘hey, I The Adult Witch Or Wizard am totally doing the magic not this under 17 year old now’ and 2) ‘now go away, we’re warding our space so you can’t find us easily.’ Their tradition of magic is deeply rooted in divination and self protection, both in defense magic and concealment magics. Anti-muggle bigotry does not exist within their community. Their magic users help their muggle counterparts and vice versa. Quite frankly, the community as a whole has more troubles with the muggle government than they do with the MoM.
Her brand of magic-with the predictions and the tea cups and the whatnot-isn’t actually a hoax like so many think. It works very well with the magic she’s an expert at and customs she grew up with. It just doesn’t work particularly well with Hogwarts Style magic education and their customs. Her True Seer predictions (and the ones Cassandra had) are involuntary things that her community isn’t overly fond of but are the only type that the greater wizarding world respects as true divination.
(Thus Lavender and Parvarti, who really did become interested and truly worked at it, actually manage to do divination well. Not as well as they would have had they grown up in the culture, but still rather well.)
(I see it as kind of a religious people and nonreligious people thing. Neither group is lying to each other about their experiences and neither group can really comprehend how the other group is, from their own perspective, denying reality. Lavender and Parvati are converts! Sorta. Ron and Hermione and Harry [and so many others] are atheists! Sorta. The centaurs follow a different religion! Sorta. Which is why they don’t like each other, sorta! :D [Except then speciesism gets included in that and everything becomes a mess. :( ])
So! She has no OWLs, no NEWTs, sees no point in either, sees no point in tests or Hogwarts’ standard teaching process in general, but she really cares about teaching the content and her students, and they consistently spurn her with only the odd exception (yay Parvati and Luna and Lavender!) and it’s just kind of tragic.
(This also makes her basically unemployable in magical Britain. :c Screw you Umbridge, screw you so much.)
Speaking of Umbridge, Trelawney’s integration with The Magical World as Harry knows it is not all that great. And she was rather scorned by her family/community for pursuing employment within it, and they had a falling out-she really can’t go back very easily in book 5. Which is why her place in Hogwarts was so important to her and why when she felt like she had lost it in book 6 she did her spiral into alcoholism and depression and just my poor baby no you are wonderful I love you.
Also she has a gigantic crush on McGonagall which she kind of despises herself for since they don’t get along and McGonagall obviously doesn’t respect her pre-Umbridge firing her and then REALLY despises herself for in book 6 because it drips into her depression and stuff.
BUT THEY START GETTING ON WELL IN BOOK 7 BECAUSE PROTECTING THE STUDENTS AND MCGONAGALL FINALLY RESPECTS HER AND TRELAWNEY IS ABLE TO BREAK HER DOWNWARD, DEPRESSIVE SPIRAL BECAUSE SHE’S DOING IMPORTANT WORK BY PROTECTING THE STUDENTS AND DEFYING VOLDEMORT.
And thus after that, when McGonagall is Headmistress and unable to convince herself that Divination class needs to exist let alone have two professors she lets Firenze and Trelawney try to convince her that they should be allowed to keep their jobs.
And they succeed, and it was largely because McGonagall finally respected Trelawney enough to take her lived experiences seriously so she could take her subject seriously and McGonagall applied that to Firenze as well and just!!!!!
And so Trelawney started spending more time with her, and she admitted how poorly the Hogwarts style of education is suited towards Divination, and McGonagall thought about that and consulted with Firenze and the three of them came up with a completely redone version of Divination The Class that actually encouraged students to be able to Divine stuff so that they would actually be magically competent at it or fail instead of the BSing that Harry and Ron managed that was equivalent to Pavarti’s and Lavender’s actual success! And everything is happily ever after!
And then Trelawney and McGonagall start dating because I AM THAT SHIPPER PERSON YES I AM, I AM TERRIBLE, I ACKNOWLEDGE THIS.
For anyone wants a concise understanding of how McGonagall/Trelawney came about, it’s all Algie’s fault. And then it went from there. (Anything below that contradicts anything I have written above is no longer my headcanon-all contradictions are won by the above. Anything below that does not interfere with the above is still my headcanon.)
And here’s the Lexicon’s list of canon on Trelawney from which much pain was extracted.
Petra doesn’t know what to do about the fighting.
Because it’s constant and it’s wild and it’s physical. Sirius and James can’t turn around without getting into shoving matches, and Remus keeps ending up flat on her back, hands above her head in supplication.
This is not how witches fight.
It’s muggle, petty, it’s inelegant and inefficient. It should be trivial except for how James ended up in the Hospital Wing when she upset an ink bottle all over Remus’ homework and Remus snarled and sprang up and pounced.
And James bowed her head: James, who has never known how to back down and has never wanted to learn to surrender, lowered her head and met her, like James had another 100 kilos of muscle to back it up.
But there were no horns to catch the attack on and human necks aren’t meant to work that way.
James screamed and crumpled and Petra froze.
Petra froze but Remus grabbed her wand and hit James with a Full Body-binding and shrieked for Sirius to move her and then they were racing for Madam Pomfrey and Petra was following but her thoughts were like slowly melting ice and she couldn’t figure out what to doand-
And Madam Pomfrey fixed James’ stupid neck with two spells, of course she did, because it was just a stupid muggle accident, because Petra’s friends are just turning into animals and starting to fight like them.
Petra hasn’t managed the transformation yet.
Petra’s not sure that she ever wants to.
okay for all you jerks who like to hate on the hufflepuff house here’s a quick reminder:
- john green was sorted into hufflepuff
- cedric digory was a proud hufflepuff
- tonks was a hufflepuff
- j.k. rowling was sorted into hufflepuff and she even said it was her favorite house. come on guys
so yeah. stop being dicks hating on the hufflepuff house. how would you like it if us hufflepuffs started being dicks toward you gryffindors or ravenclaws???
yeah that’s what i thought.
JK Rowling was NOT sorted into Hufflepuff. She is a Gryffindor, through and through. Let’s not spread misinformation, Hufflepuff’s a great house and we don’t need to rely on false rumours to prove so!
but i think she did say it was her favorite.
Or we could point out that Hannah Motherfucking Abbot and Justin Motherfucking Finch-Fletchly and Ernie Motherfucking McMillan and Zacharias Motherfucking Smith and Susan Motherfucking Bones are Hufflepuffs.
You know how much I care about the two or three Hufflepuffs most people list when trying to prove that the House doesn’t suck?
They aren’t exemplary Hufflepuffs that the House can be proud of even though it’s ‘the default house’ and ‘a load of duffers’ (thanks Hagrid, you’re swell). They’re Hufflepuffs.
The stuff that makes Tonks and Cedric understood as ‘awesome’ is that we get to see them kick ass to a higher degree than most people. But you don’t have to kick ass AT ALL in order to be awesome.
Here is an EXTREMELY SHORT LIST of why even the Hufflepuffs in the books who get only a handful of mentions, who never were Aurors, who never fought dragons, are earth shatteringly awesome:
As a twelve year old Ernie went out of his way to yell at someone he thought was trying to kill off people who annoyed him AND THEN when he realized he was wrong ADMITTED IT IN PUBLIC.
Hannah’s mother got killed by Death Eaters in HBP and she dropped out at that point yet she showed up to fight them in the Battle For Hogwarts anyway.
Justin Finch-Fletchly gets freaking petrified from November to June in CoS and doesn’t decide to go back to muggle Britain where a powerful group of people doesn’t want him dead because of his parentage.
ZACHARIAS SMITH TURNS EVERY PRECONCEIVED NOTION YOU HAVE OF HUFFLEPUFF ON ITS HEAD AND FOR THAT HE IS MY FAVORITE RANDOM HUFFLEPUFF. GO GET ‘EM, YOU GINORMOUS ASSHOLE.
Susan LOSES LITERALLY EVERYONE IN HER FAMILY ON HER FATHER’S SIDE. EVERYONE. THE BONES FAMILY WAS PRACTICALLY OBLITERATED FROM THE PLANET. DEATH IS AS CONSTANT IN HER LIFE AS IT HAS BEEN IN HARRY’S and yet she fights in the Battle For Hogwarts on the strength of only a few canon weeks of real Defense lessons in the DA. Just. Slow clap it out for this girl.
Hufflepuff is awesome because Helga Hufflepuff looked at the assholes she was building a school together with and had the guts to say “just because the rest of these kids, the ones no one picked, aren’t anyone’s favorites doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get to learn” and backed it up by taking them in when the others wouldn’t.
Hufflepuff is awesome because it is built on foundations of fairness, cooperation, and loyalty, and who the hell wants to deal with anyone who thinks that’s worthless?
*I mean obviously I care boatloads about Tonks and Cedric as characters but I really couldn’t give a single crap about them in this context as the reasons that Hufflepuff is worthwhile. Because they’re not.
Molly would blush, but really Sally’s just her type: dark hair and gorgeous eyes and a too rare, too tight smile and a quick wit and a job helping people.
Molly’s never minded a corpse, never been squeamish over death, but it’d be so much nicer if people would just go on living. Certainly it’d be less sad. She can’t do much about that as a mortician. Her patients are past hope, really. But sometimes she gets to help with preventative care.
She really likes helping with preventative care. And it’s not only when attractive people pop in on police business, but that’s definitely a bonus.
And Molly’s known her a long while now hasn’t she, it’s been a few years since Sally first got sent to get her statements on cause of death with her polite half-smile of greeting and her strict, professional respect for Molly’s expertise.
It’s always been so much easier talking to her, to be treated as an equal, than to the men who couldn’t understand why their time was being wasted on dealing with a cute little lady who still looked fresh out of med school when she was four years past her residency.
For Molly it’s never been hard to smile outright, to giggle at the funny things and grin at the good, but Sally’s smiles have always been aimed at the ground and too quick to pass.
So when she smiles one day, with all her teeth and arching eyebrows and creases in the corners of her eyes that meet Molly’s unhesitatingly, when Molly asks if she’d like to get a coffee after her shift’s done, she feels wholly triumphant.
She tells him once that she likes detective stories and it’s not even a lie because doesn’t she love the whispered venting? The words spill golden out of Sally’s mouth like the nectar of the gods and if anything could sustain her it’d be this: the gentle tug from sleep after a shift worked through the night by slurred syllables hurrying to slip out before Sally falls asleep.
Irene kisses her temple and pulls the covers higher over fawny shoulder so easily speckled by gooseflesh. Sally sighs up at her, eyes still closed, and nuzzles deeper into the pillow.
She likes detective stories the way she likes steaming mugs pushed into her greedy hands before she’s fully awake the way she likes crumpled uniforms in the hamper the way she likes panicked phone calls when she’s slipped into the headlines again.
It’s the language the game’s rulebook isn’t written in because what’s written can be crossed out, but if there were any way to spell it out forever, those proofs would scream in triumph: what’s most precious is still safe.
Irene misbehaves but she doesn’t like to gamble. She plays the game to win because she knows she can, because the anticipation of the high is so sweet, but she’s never seen the point of risking what’s hers. Irene is very good at holding all the good cards. Irene is very good at not caring about what she holds.
But with Sally there is an awful chance of losing, with Sally there is an awful lot of risk, and so Irene likes detective stories.
Because with Sally there is an awful certainty that if she hadn’t risked, the game wouldn’t have been worth playing anymore, and so Irene likes detective stories.
For Sally there is every reason to pay whatever price so she can keep hearing her detective stories.
Take as fact: In any universe that the tower’s window faces Corona and Rapunzel can see the lights that are so different from the stars she knows, she will want to see them up close, in person.
But let’s set the scene: the sun still cries a single tear onto a German hill; Gothel still watches the fall and finds the flower it grew into. She still covers it with a basket she wove together of tree branches once her fingers have stopped burning of arthritis, once the wrinkles are smooth and her skin is tinted with the golden-orange of the flower’s glow.
But in this universe, Gothel doesn’t just fear ugliness, doesn’t just run from age.
Here, she hoards the flower for centuries so that she can keep living. She isn’t trying to just avoid dying. That would be a waste of her many gifts.
Pepper and Steve and Tony all have conflicting tastes when it comes to room aethetics, and it amounts to a quiet and continual war to get things to look acceptable.
Steve had an edge for a very small while, since he could just move stuff any which way he preferred if he had five minutes to himself, but then Tony started using the armor for it.
This left Pepper to convince Thor, Clint, and Natasha to help her in her cause, which was exceedingly easy since she’s Pepper Potts, Natasha loves her the bestest or at least likes annoying Tony and Steve the mostest, Clint enjoys being an asshole to them, and Thor sees it as an honor to assist her.
And because that was a kind of obnoxious headcanon and full of bad feelings and stuff:
Headcanon-before her death, Lily was making leaps and strides towards the creation of the Wolfsbane Potion. Her work led to its finally being invented in Lupin’s lifetime.
Tom Riddle killed Professor Binns to make the diadem horcrux.
It’s a couple months before Thor gets back, arriving with the worst part of the storm that’s raged for half the afternoon and sent all of Tony’s weather related sensors into frenzied reporting of outlying data. It sets off some warning bell of JARVIS’ which in turn sets off Bruce, which fairly effectively spurs the rest of the team into getting ready to fight lest something attack the building and screw up the experiment he’s working on for the third time because they were unprepared.
In hindsight, Tony probably ought to own *two* buildings in New York. Structural damage is not the greatest thing that’s ever happened to a home of scientific and technological progress, and the tower suffers it depressingly often.
But, all his eggs are in a very shiny basket now, and he’s the man who kept a cost drain of a science experiment going under his California factory for decades before managing to make something viable with it and ran into the spotlight with it when he realized the viable something was poisoning him; Tony’s made a life and a fortune off of grinning through bad decisions until they worked out in his favor. He can bear an exception to his tendency to fix what isn’t broken.
In any case, when Thor finally lands on Tony’s flooded deck, the entire team is suited up and has weapons ready and is on edge from waiting nearly an hour for whatever the sensors were heralding.
His entrance is very impressive, all constrained power and possibly practiced posing, and made all the better from the splash pattern on impact. If it weren’t for the instantaneous high of Tony’s dissipated anxiety, it would have definitely kept all ‘It’s Raining Men’ references out of his head. But he’s giddy now, and he’s never been able to uphold someone *else’s* dignity. He flips down his visor and flings open the glass door.
“Thor! Buddy! *Just* who I wanted to see, do you know how long I’ve been looking for something to absolutely secure my case for transferring Dr. Foster over here? Weeks, all right, it’s been weeks, and this is just going to absolutely *seal*the *deal,* and may I just say, ‘hallelujah?’ JARVIS, you should probably tell everyone the threat alert’s ended and they don’t need to keep panicking. Yeah I realize it’s the weekend but like that’s ever stopped someone from working when they really wanted to. Thor, hey hey hey, Thor, you are *staying* right, this isn’t just some equivalent of a trans-dimensional phone call, I mean I have an entire floor set up for you. Sure, I guess you get to live in extravagance as a king in Asgard or whatever, but *hello,* Wi-Fi.”
“Stark! Shut up!” calls Natasha. “Thor! Come in, there’s no need for you to keep getting rained on or for us to be shouting.”
Tony grins and pushes himself closer to the door so the dripping mountain of a man can slink by him into the room.
So! Thor’s back!
Well, for now he’s off in New Mexico with Jane, but he’s back on the planet, back in the Avengers, and he’ll be back in New York in just a few hours. And he’ll be flying Jane in later today, which is why Tony’s spent the half week while the happy couple gets reacquainted obsessing over Jane’s sporadic but detailed emails.
He’s been promising that if she just came and worked with him he’d give her the best lab she’ll ever see since the Chitauri attacked, and the fact that she has so many specific requests just makes it easier on him to follow through on that. Tony *loves* it when people actually tell him exactly what they want. It lets him surpass expectations.
Which is why he’s actually in the promised lab and giving JARVIS notes about things Jane hasn’t *said* she wants but can *definitely* get her anyway when a bespectacled girl with long, dark hair, a huge brown backpack, and a figure that’s so killer even her bulky sweater can’t hide it wanders in through the door he left open. He cuts off midsentence and she cuts off midstride as they spot each other, then she does the ‘you’re Tony Stark!’ expression.
Tony’s generally pleased when he has that effect on people, but right now he’s trying to work. ”I’d tell you you’re in the wrong place but please, I designed the security system. You wouldn’t have made it up here if this were the wrong place. So! Who are you and why are you here?”
“Darcy! Darcy Lewis. This is Jane Foster’s lab right?” Tony frowns. ‘Darcy Lewis’ means absolutely nothing to him, and Jane’s move isn’t common knowledge for her own protection. He has no idea how this woman knows about it.
“It’s going to be. Why are you in it?”
“Well, because it’s Jane’s lab. I’m just checking it out.” Tony glances around the room then back to Darcy. He raises his eyebrows.
“Well…you’ve checked it out so do you mind checking out of here? I’m busy.”
Darcy finally loses the star struck look, trading it for pissed off. “I get that this is your building, but it’s not your name signing my paychecks. Unless I’ve terribly mistaken about the time zone change thing, these are standard work hours. ‘I work here’ is a pretty good reason to be here right now.”
“Wait, what? You work for Jane?” Ah, anger and workaholism. *This* he likes.
“Very sorry then, completely started off on the wrong foot. But now I’m confused, she didn’t tell me she was moving a staff over with her. Does she need…I don’t even know, cubicles? Desks? I can get more desks.” Apparently she’s not one to hold onto anger, because Darcy’s deflating now that he’s stopped being a dick. She tilts her head and chews her lip, considering, before answering:
“Uh…no? I’m her only assistant right now, and it looks like we’ve got enough tablespace in here.”
“Only? How in the world is she doing all this with work just one person on staff?”
“Well, only one on premises. After the thing with Erik getting abducted by SHIELD, we kicked all their geeks out and started working with the physics department at Jane’s university.”
“Oh. Well.” He turns to inspect the room for the umpteenth time. “So does this look all right then? All I’ve got to go on are a few emails.”
Darcy grins at him, drops her backpack, and starts pointing out what he did wrong.
Blah blah blah BASICALLY DARCY DARCY DARCY DARCY ALL THE TIME DARCY.