From a Metafilter discussion about Disney retiring Slave Leia collectibles:
“Yes. I was a kid when I first saw it, and it wasn’t the sexy that bothered me, it was seeing my Lone Representative of My Gender, who also happened to have proven herself a badass, (a rare thing!) get degraded for yuks.
“You may not know this, but until very recently, if you were a girl who admired a girl character in a media property, you also repeatedly experienced the sinking, shaming sensation of seeing your hero turned into a tits n’ ass parade at some point, or otherwise having her female status used to make her Less Heroic than male characters.
“Has Captain America yet had his turn onscreen in nothing but a chainmail banana-hammock and fetters, being slobbered over by a repugnant slavemaster who appears to want to rape him, until a fully-clothed group of female heroes rescues him? No. And outside of fanfic, he won’t, because it’s upsetting for men to see their heroes treated that way.
“My looks, as validated by the very men I was rejecting, gave me license to be more selective. As I grew more selective, my profiles grew less playful. I erased my face. I added more shirtless pics and naked pics; I worked out harder; I left my descriptions blank so I would have nothing to blame for a guy not messaging me back, other than his own ‘preference.’
. . .
Was it something I said or didn’t say? Am I not muscular enough? Am I not masculine enough? Am I too black? Not black enough? Guys that I would strike up a casual conversation with immediately became potential boyfriends. We would either meet and have sex and I’d never see him again or we’d casually text until one or both of us lost interest. Some times, we’d meet and I’d face my rejection in-person. Were we to meet in another, less sexually-charged way, things would probably be different. Giving all the goods off the bat, however, takes the surprise and spontaneity out of meeting each other.
But these apps and sites have rendered me completely unable to interact with guys in any other way because they cater to my insecurity. My insecurity about talking to guys. My insecurity with coming off too effeminate or too needy. My insecurity of attracting someone without using my body. It’s one thing to be rejected based on a picture and a headline, but to be rejected based on something more substantial like personality is a soul-crusher. I broke myself down and I beat myself up and I compromised my values and what I believed in in order to satisfy my all-consuming sexual desire. I recognized that this desire was just a desire to be less lonely, which explains why I would often get attached to someone so quickly and so easily.”
At the RNC stop-talking-about-rape hootenanny on Thursday, Mike Huckabee BLAMEDOBAMA for the war on women:
“Republicans don’t have a war on women. We’re having a war for women. To empower them to be something other than victims of their gender. If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.”
Uncle Sugar? What does that even mean? Does he realize that birth control doesn’t decrease libido?
“Sadly, it’s bigger than just streaming, and it’s bigger than just gender. You also see similar accusations about people who are told their bisexuality/pansexuality/transness is ‘just for the attention’, for example. People of color often experience it when talking about racism, with earnest conversations about experiences and perceptions being seen as ‘race baiting’. You see it applied to body modifications as well. It often gets posed as a question: ‘why does a person who does/identifies as [x] have to be so vocal about it?’ It’s a coded way of saying someone is just looking for attention, and it’s a form of marginalization, because it assumes by default an illegitimacy for that person’s identity and experiences. Under this thinking, the identity characteristics of people who fall outside the accepted norms aren’t that way in earnest — they’re that way as a sort of contrarian act. For those who do largely fit the norms, I can understand why it’s easy to think that, as much of their identity development has been in rejecting pieces of the norm that they interface with. Maybe they reject mainstream music, or AAA games. Maybe they embrace fringe technology. Perhaps it’s rejecting what they see as the dominant religion or political beliefs. These rejections happen organically for them, relative to whatever their ‘normal’ is, and they view them as fundamental parts of their beliefs. As such, when faced with someone who’s counter to dominant culture in a particularly striking or individual way (particularly those who violate norms that the observers have made a conscious choice to accept rather than reject), it’s often easier to explain their existence within a framework of norm-rejection, which gives them the internally-consistent belief that people are, say, ‘bisexual just for the attention’. Instead of assuming that most people who identify as bisexual are doing it in a way that’s consistent with their own personal experiences, they assume that the identity came about as a rejection of a cultural norm, and that the rejection is so strong that, of course, it’ll definitely get attention. What’s interesting about that, is the idea that attention is fueled largely by the very value imbalance that these kind of accusations imply. The outcries that people make when someone defines themselves as say, ‘bisexual’ or a ‘girl gamer’ create the very attention that people are, paradoxically, decrying. I can’t speak about Kaceytron specifically, as I’m not familiar with her, but the post someone else made about her has been seen by and commented on by thousands of people. In decrying her attention-seeking behaviors, the person who posted it not only signal-boosted that, but also revealed their own desire to call attention to their perspective — an attention-seeking behavior that is probably invisible to the poster and many of the people agreeing with the image’s message. /u/imuya brought it up relative to streaming, but the fact of the matter is that much of what we do are attention-seeking behaviors. Why do you keep in touch with your friends? Why do you comment on reddit? Why do you tweet? Whenever there’s a social component to something there’s an element of attention embedded in it, because the task becomes relatively meaningless if there isn’t an audience. Reddit itself is like a veritable pressure-cooker for attention, with everything you do on the site being a vector for it. I’m writing this comment in the hopes that other people will see it; I’m writing it with the understanding that anyone on the site can respond to it; and, even more, I’m able to have a direct proxy for the audience’s opinion of it in the form of reddit’s voting system! I can’t imagine a system more designed to reward attention-seeking behavior, especially because an upvote is structurally analogous to saying this needs more attention by nature of reddit’s sorting methods (displaying highly upvoted articles and comments first). The point of all of this is that a behavior being attention-seeking isn’t wrong in and of itself — in fact, that’s a reality we are all complicit in if we’re on this very site. Instead, it’s often the intent of the behavior and the manner and space in which it’s executed that are far more important in terms of gauging authenticity.”