speaking of the concept of “strong women”
i get really upset when people, usually other women, assume that as a generally timid and self-conscious person that my aspiration as a constantly self-evolving young woman is to become instead strong and comfortable with myself and not give a fuck
no its not my aspiration actually
i want to keep being timid and self-conscious actually because thats what i am and i’m totally fine being this and im still a woman who deserves things even though i dont strive to be any Ultimate Ideal for Women or for human beings in general like i know strength is a great quality to have but ive lived without it for 19 years and all of my convictions and interests and dreams are built on the foundation of these traits that are traditionally seen as personality weaknesses and i dont know who i would be if i wasn’t a shy person etc etc
like i’m definitely 100% devoted to improving myself and constantly working toward molding myself into best version of myself that i feel i can be but thats my version and my version doesnt include being strong like i have never had a desire to be considered a strong woman who gives no fucks because thats just not me
and i dont have to aspire to be strong and i dont have to aspire to be stronGER or anything at all
i just hate that people assume that because i’m shy or self-conscious as a person that i’m automatically trying not to be that, to train it out of myself or to shed it as a weakness
no im just trying to live and eat three meals a day and remember to put my pants on before i answer the door just like everyone else
cw: abuse, rape. asoiaf book spoilers
put this post behind the cut because it’s not fully thought out and obviously not everyone needs this on their dashes, but here are just some things i have been thinking wrt to cersei lannister and her narrative which is tangentially related to some of the recent discussion abt her.
She was once the a beautiful virgin shadow maiden of Athean. After Poseidon rapes Medusa in Athena’s temple, Athena punishes Medusa….making her the embodiement of death and damning her to a life of solitude.
What does this say about society then, and now?
Well, the myth that tells Medusa’s metamorphosis into a monster as a punishment by Athena is the patriarchal Roman version. The ancient Greek myth, which has closer ties to its progenitor, the Egyptian tale of Wadjet, tells us that Athena gifted Medusa with ugliness and the power to turn men to stone as a way of protecting her from further violations of her person. Even so, her ugliness was emphasized in the Roman retelling as a way to further demonize and disenfranchise Medusa (i.e. she only lashed out on men because she was too ugly to be loved by them, her ugliness forced her into seclusion from men, ugly women are bad, etc. ((I am ironically using abbreviations for Latin words here yes)).). As the original myth tells it, she lived in solitude because she did not wish to be around men after what Poseidon had done. And Athena gave her the power to never be at the mercy of a male again. So originally, Athena was pissed at Poseidon, not Medusa. And then, of course, the Romans took it one step further and had Perseus behead her (yay the vindictive old hag is dead) and give it to Athena for her shield.
But yeah, renderings of Medusa’s head appeared in the doorways of many women’s shelters in ancient Greece because she was a symbol of female empowerment, not a monster feared by men and women alike.
This brings me to my awkward segue into a cool essay on the subject: The Laugh of the Medusa by Helene Cixous actually touches on the system of misogynistic fear behind the Romanized version, but most importantly why women need to write their stories because this is the shit that happens when dudebros get ahold of them. It’s also an awesome overture to queer theories of writing. If you can read French, I highly suggest getting your hands on the essay as it was originally written, because Cixous’ voice is just incredibly inspiring when you read it as she intended it to be read. Also, the essay itself is worthy of criticism as it is not as intersectional as it absolutely needs to be. I feel I should add that before someone thinks I advocate the problematic things she says.
But now that I’ve totally digressed from my original point: It’s important that we’re always mindful to question the credibility of those telling us not only history, but also legend.
(I became absolutely exhausted halfway through this so forgive me if the connection I’m making between the original post and this essay is more arbitrary than I think it is at the moment)
GRRM himself says about Catelyn that there’s a tendency in fantasy stories to want to get the mom off-stage, to sideline her for the hero’s story, and that’s what he was trying to reset, that’s the story he thought was missing that Catelyn is meant to fill
B&W FUCKING SIDELINE HER
the fact that tumblr celebrates cersei empowering herself by abusing people and most especially women less enfranchised and powerful than her, women of the lower class and women of color, is disgusting.
no one’s trying to tell you that you can’t stan cersei or relate with her or love her, but if you’re denying her privilege and how it factors into her personality and enables the cruelty with which she treats oppressed people, people more socially oppressed than her, and painting her as a feminist icon, then you need to sit the fuck down and understand why some people might be uncomfortable with your behavior.
not all feminism revolves around white upper class women; no, scratch that. all feminism does revolve around those kind of women. its an oppressive more often pervasive in the movement and you’re only perpetuating and exacerbating it by your problematic cersei stanning, veiling your bullshit which is bereft of intersectionality as self-righteous social justice “feminism”, as if other views and opinions on feminism are invalid. and when you’re doing it in the defense of a woman who isn’t merely white, or merely upper class, but who is responsible or partly responsible for the murder, mutilation, physical and psychological abuse, and rape of women less empowered than her, acts that her privilege allows her to commit, you need to think about what the fuck you’re saying and question for once in your lifetime who’s being problematic here.
#cersei lannister is a great character but she is not the woman in this series to be most hailed #because she is not a feminist icon #she empowers herself but that doesn’t mean she empowers herself in a way that is healthy #cersei is a victim but she’s also an abuser