Jeebus Piping Cripes on a Cracker #1

I’m menstruating as I write this. Celebrate me. Or not. I don’t care.

I don’t know why she does this, but I think its safe to say that while the Harry Potter books will have a special place in my heart, their author made her way out of it a while ago. I mean she was never really there anyway. I loved the books, but in their moment in time. I think the stories are timeless but the casual imperialism is very much not (though in actuality, imperialism is timeless, so far).

But today, J.K. Rowling posted this:

What an idiot. And not just because she is wrong, but because she is so insulated that she said this during Pride Month.

Look, I’m a cis-gendered, heterosexual, middle-aged, middle-class, white female. There’s my subject position. And I have been working really hard to battle over 40 years of binary programming in my language and culture. I want to exist in and create a more inclusive and aware environment for the people I care about and the people I work with. I do not agree with Rowling at all.

There’s no but coming. Sorry. I have an idea that I might have an inkling on where her misguided anger is coming from. We’ve heard it before about the erasure of women within the larger pool of identity politics (whatever that means). There is a mistaken idea that women have to subsume all non-male, non-het identities. They feel that woman-hood is something that can be put on as easily as a costume. They are wrong. They are falling for the binary – male/female, where “female” is the inferior. Because white, cis, het, male is the default, everything else is female. Because they are ignorant of their own internal patriarchy, they believe that everything that is not the default subsequently dilutes their own identity, which, yes, includes menstruation.

I believe we can still celebrate menstruation without having it owned by one gender. We can celebrate the life-giving power it represents while also understanding the terrible pain and shame that have gone hand-in-hand with it. I’m menstruating as I write this. Celebrate me. Or not. I don’t care. The association of shame and the necessity to celebrate menstruation is because it has been associated with the non-default, the Other, the non-men. Ever hear the joke “I don’t trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die.” That’s how it’s made to be not-default. Not-normal. Men don’t menstruate, so it’s seen as not normal.

OH! (I see you.)

But some men do. And they should be celebrated as well. And cared for and supported. And we need to find more words to describe all the facets of who we are and we need to disassociate things and processes with identities and allow people to be and to be well. We need to break out of our butterfly boxes, all pinned and labeled and dead. We need to realize that these associations, so important to earlier generations of feminism, are still wrapped up in the default, in being the non-default. Their power is/was in a singular opposition to the binary. And that’s not enough anymore.

We are too diverse. We are multitudes. We menstruate. We don’t. We are beautiful.

Shut the fuck up, J.K. Rowling. Go jump in your money, Scrooge McDuck style.

I have never watched Buffy

Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t at some indefinite time in the future. The only reason for not having watched it thus far is that it came out at the same time I was edging into my thirties and felt the need to distance myself from my own teen angst. The reason I bring this up is to establish that I’m no Joss Whedon hater, I loved Firefly, but there has yet to be a compelling reason to launch into binge watching another show. (Have you seen my To-Be-Watched list on My Anime List? NO? It’s secret!)

Anyway, scrolling through Twitter I came across a thread describing the early Wonder Woman script that Whedon wrote. Another disclaimer, I have not see the new Wonder Woman movie yet either (next week) but I have heard good things from friends. Yet these excerpts that were posted describe a Wonder Woman that could have been vastly different from what was eventually made.

The whole thread is worth a read. I had no idea–or, more likely, don’t remember– that there had been a huge backlash against Whedon a while back. Perhaps I brushed against this while reading something on Jezebel, or skimming through my news feeds, but apparently this was something I’d missed.

The whole thread is worth a read. Seriously, I’ll be right here when you get back.

But the reason I’m posting this isn’t to rehash an argument that I was never part of, but to highlight a paragraph from a post that was linked in the above thread. The post is from laureljupiter.tumblr.com and is two years old, yet I absolutely had to highlight the following paragraph. The context is discussing Wash from Firefly in relation to the rest of the Whedonverse:

A big outlier here is Wash, from Firefly and Serenity, who almost fit the pattern, but not quite, and that “not quite” was enough of a problem that, like the similar character Oz, he had to be written out of the story.  Alan Tudyk had the same general physical resemblance to Joss and the same dress sense as Andrew, Topher, and Billy Horrible.  His dinosaur theater sessions looked and sounded like the action figure games the Trio played, and the blurb for Joss’s media company, Mutant Enemy.   But unlike all the other nerdy blond men of the Whedonverse, Wash was in a equal and loving relationship with the strong soldier woman he adored.  Other characters in the series were preoccupied with the traditional gender role imbalance in Wash and Zoe’s marriage and questioned whether Wash felt emasculated by his wife being stronger than he was, but both Wash and Zoe were completely above and untouched by it.  She was a warrior woman and she was married to a dorky guy who told stories and who wasn’t the most physically powerful man on her crew.  She could have broken him in half with her pinky and they loved and respected each other and had a happy, healthy marriage. This was, somehow, too much for Joss to handle, and so Wash had to die.

Not only is this a great observation, but it’s gets at the reason why “War Stories” will always be my favorite Firefly episode.