I'm writing a story where the main dude has spiky hair and pointy ears and I'm having a hard time picturing the combination in my head. I was wondering if I could see how you'd do Vegeta with LotR and/or WoW elf ears, please? Thank you!!
fellowship of the fight against fantasy stereotypes
Please don’t tell girls “The boy who’s picking on you actually just likes you”
Even if it’s true, you shouldn’t teach girls to respect that sort of affection.
And you should definitely not teach boys that expressing their attraction to women through violence and disrespect is ok.
While I was in grade school, maybe 4th grade, I wrote a short story where the main girl character had to deal with an annoying male character who was disrespecting her boundaries (just a throwaway part of the story as she went on her adventures being a super spy). At the time, I think I’d been dealing with some boys in class picking on me a bit. My teacher read it, praised me, then asked if the male character was the love interest. My immediate reaction was: What? No! He’s just an annoying character. I was annoyed and thinking, how could your mind even go there? She apologized and said something like, “Oh, but that’s how these stories usually go.” I was huffy and still mad, like, not in my story.
But I thought about it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Is this really typical? Does this make sense from an adult perspective? Is this how things are when you’re a grown-up? It was like a whole new perspective opened up to me that I had never considered before. I thought, huh, maybe he does like her. Maybe he is just incapable of proper social interaction. Maybe those boys picking on me actually like (not “like like,” but you know, not dislike) me. Maybe this is normal?
And I continued that story so that he was, in fact, the love interest. The previously non-existent love interest. And I liked it. It made sense to me. It was like I had learned the secret workings of the adult world. This is the way things are. Yeah, that’s right, I internalized the shit out of that.
I really think that was not okay that happened. I know that I have had crushes on/interactions with guys subsequent to that who treated me like shit because I so completely and thoroughly internalized that message. Boys picking on girls is normal. Boys disrespecting girls’ boundaries is expected. Boys will be boys. Behaving like that is just their way of showing affection. You should feel flattered. Boys just don’t know how to express themselves. Boys and girls are just so different.
And you know what? The media did nothing to dissuade me about this. In fact, the more media I consumed, the more I was convinced that I was right. This is how relationships are. If someone keeps pushing and crossing your boundaries and making you do things that you don’t want, tries desperately to prove that they’re the right person for you even when you’ve said no a billion times, that’s okay, cute, admirable even, because it shows how much they love you! I mean, he’s such a nice guy. Right?
No. Fucking no.
That was over twenty years ago. I am still trying to figure out what healthy relationships/interactions look like. I have a major problem establishing and maintaining boundaries. I might still like pairings that are problematic (don’t we all), but at least I can like them knowing they are problematic. At least I can go through life now and understand that, you know what, what we have as the norm now is not okay. This is not something we should be teaching our children. This is not something that we should be normalizing. This is something we need to call out when we see it.
Most of the time the boy who picks on you is not the destined love of your life. He’s just an asshole.
Short version: I don’t really subscribe to OTPs because I don’t like limiting myself. Why have them bone when person when they can bone them all? But if I had to pick one OTP where I was only allowed to fangirl for one pairing for the rest of my life, it would be Venus/Kunzite.
Now as to why I love them… gah, there is so much my brain kind of froze for a minute.
Maybe I should start by saying I like playing around with all the Senshi/Shitennou pairings (provided the Shitennou don’t really resemble their anime personalities at all - especially Jadeite). The manga is nice because it gives you broader strokes in terms of interpreting the Shitennou. I disagree with the criticism that the manga’s characterization is weaker or underdeveloped; I just think it’s more subtle. Quite a bit of characterization also comes from Naoko’s notes, not to mention some kind of weird fanon hive mind. Like how Jadeite somehow wound up being the goofy manchild? I actually have a theory for how that happened, but THIS IS NOT THE TIME.
But while I like playing with the Senshi/Shitennou pairings, Venus/Kunzite is the one I throw most of my support behind. For one thing, it’s actually canon (well, canon-ish given how its presented to us in the Sailor V manga, but I choose to interpret that scene in a way that makes it canon). Granted, I don’t need canon to make me ship characters (‘never actually met in canon? NOT A PROBLEM!’), but since Senshi/Shitennou can be kind of divisive because ‘it’s only based on a picture’ I feel the need to mention it. This is probably silly.
Notice how I keep circling the point here? I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS I DON’T KNOW HOW TO START.
“We are very excited to announce today that ReedPOP, the folks behind New York Comic Con and several other fan conventions, have asked us for help with their harassment policy. We’d like to take it one step further and ask for YOUR input as well. Find out how you can help!”—