September 18, 2014

jehnt replied to your post: trying to find a Harry Potter fic…

I couldn’t find it in my downloads of Maya and CC’s works, but it’s possible it was a journal entry that never got archived separately if it was by one of them. It sounds familiar.

It’s possible!  It feels like a one-off sort of fanfic.  It was fairly long (I think? god so long ago) but that was mostly because it was almost like a script-style fic.  

OH GOOD I’m glad it sounds familiar to you, ahahah. XD  I didn’t imagine it in a fever-dream or anything.

10:55am  |   URL:
Filed under: jehnt 
September 18, 2014
Criticizing Self-Criticism





I am totally gonna make a post about the prolific use of self-hatred in fandom and fanwork output, but for now I’mma just link to toujoursher’s commentary as well because it is as always awesome.  And I don’t want to hijack the AO3 tag informational post for my own fandom meta, heh. 

And yeah I also agree that even though massive rambling tags on AO3 is not my cup of tea (okay I GET it, you hate everything you write, jeez do I even want to read this any more now that I know the writer is informing me ahead of time that it’s absolutely terrible?) I do think that if fanwork-creators adhered to AO3 rules - ie using their warning system, their tagging system etc etc - in addition to their tag-rambles, I’d be okay with it.  I would just avoid the tags like woah, unless I wanted the writer to talk me out of reading their fic.  

Which y’know.  Sometimes they succeed.  So congratulations on their self-fulfilling prophecy, I suppose.

#ThisFicSucks and similar tags reminds me of the “I wrote this fic at 3 in the morning while on pixie sticks and Mountain Dew” Author’s Notes I used to see on The Pit of Voles (aka FFN) over a decade ago. If people didn’t do it in tags, they’d do it in Author’s Notes or at the top of the fic - or they wouldn’t do it at all because they wouldn’t feel like the community is telling them they can/should be deprecating because how dare they think this fic is good or worth reading? 

Sometimes, are people who put these sorts of tags on their fics doing so because they’ve been taught not to toot their own horn, or say they’ve done something awesome or at least readable? 

From a completely different context (re women and leadership): 

As a woman I’m very familiar with self-deprecation. Nearly all women use it. And we like it, because … it makes us seem approachable.


And the awesome sarahreesbrennan talks about similar issues here on The Toast: 

Nor, in a society set up to make sure women have poor opinions of themselves, is anyone taking on the system by characterising professional women as bragging and boasting. Those who use a rhetoric that insists “these women talking in any way positively about themselves or their work are too self-satisfied” are upholding the current system, where women are socialised not to have any confidence, and that is reinforced at every turn by people telling them that the tiny pieces of confidence they’ve managed to scrape together are far too much.

(And, btw, Sarah’s piece from last spring should be read by anyone who’s recently been reading about Gamergate, but that’s a different post.)

In other words, I don’t like when people tag their work with self-deprecation, or put it in Author’s Notes, or especially in Summaries (because the person who reads/views it has a Close Tab or Back button). But I don’t like it because I worry that there’s a chance that they’ve put that tag or note there because they feel like the community says shouldn’t feel proud that they’ve created something. It can’t be good, you shouldn’t boast or brag, and sharing this without deprecation is bragging. 

It isn’t. It’s just sharing, it’s talking positively about something that you’ve done and want to share with your community. That’s awesome and not the ideal moment for self-deprecation. 

(And yes, I acknowledge that in criticizing self-deprecation, I am ironically engaging in criticism and saying something negative about the people who use such tags. And I don’t know how to get around that - except to say this isn’t meant to be criticism of those who do it, although it might be criticism of a culture and/or community that makes them feel that it’s necessary.)

The thing is though that while what you are offering is criticism, it’s constructive criticism.
Which any writer should be happy to receive, because that’s what helps us improve.
ALSO, it’s true, and important. So there’s that.

As a woman, this is very familiar.

"Don’t be too proud, don’t toot your own horn, it will make you unlikeable!"

This is what we’re being taught everyday as little girls. And I see it so often, especially with creations, writings or art. “Sorry it’s not good, sorry you don’t like it….” we are such good girls! Always apologizing.

Stop it. What we make may never be perfect but we are trying and we are creating and even if it isn’t the greatest thing ever - it is good! 

Good. Don’t be sorry for good.

self-hatred in fandom self-deprication stand by your work being a woman

OMG yes other eloquent and well-researched people added their own opinions to my initial post, to which in all of it I say a resounding - YES.

If/when I eventually make my post, I want to incorporate the way that women are generally not encouraged to pursue certain creative endeavours, and above that are taught to be extremely self-deprecating.  I don’t mean ‘modest’, although that’s usually the euphemistic term used to make self-loathing look pious, righteous, and healthy.  I mean literal, vocal, loud self-deprecating so everyone understands that this talented woman is not vain or, god forbid, self-serving. Women must only ever serve others, after all.  Women must only ever give and never, ever take.

Women of colour (especially black women) get this two-fold, from men and from white women.  Which is a whole other extremely important aspect in and of itself, and so I just wanted to point that out.  

But yeah this level of self-deprecating is reflected in fandom.  Our creative types feel they must apologize for being creative, they have to downplay their talent and skill and hard work.  ’Oops my pencil slipped’ = a gorgeous illustration.  That’s it, that’s the pride you’ve been socialized to take in your artwork? Because praise should only ever be from external sources, but never pride from within?

Conversely, since others have brought up self-critique, I’ve found that people automatically jump to assure you that you are AWESOME and you are GREAT and you are PERFECT, which I also find as interesting as the self-deprecating search for praise.

Just as we’re primed to hate ourselves, we’re also primed to pour ‘grrlpower’ meaningless phrases onto others who feel bad about their skills.  To the point that sometimes we don’t even take into context what the other person is critiquing.

For instance, I could say:  ’so here I drew this, I’m kinda bad at perspective so I fudged it a bit, ahah oh well, it was fun, I love drawing these characters!’

I know I suck at perspective.  I’m not in a corner crying my eyes out about it.  I say it, because I know I have room to improve and I can improve if I keep drawing.  Instead of saying that, I say ‘I’m kinda bad at perspective’ and often I would get: ‘Lori you are SO GOOD at drawing, you are GREAT, don’t sell yourself short, your art is FABULOUS and you should feel fabulous, FEEL GOOD DAMMIT, I AM UNCOMFORTABLE KNOWING YOU CRITIQUED YOURSELF AND I’VE PERCEIVED THAT AS SELF-HATE AND I AM FRUSTRATED AND WORRIED THAT I CAN’T IMMEDIATELY REASSURE YOU, SUCH IS MY ROLE AS A WOMAN TO GIVE COMFORT AND CONSOLATION.’

…yeah it’s like this circular, loopy kinda thing.  A loopcycle of self-deprecation and doling out lavish generic praise brought about by an overall discomfort with one’s personal talent while also with perceiving that others have this same discomfort with their own talent and trying to assuage their insecure feelings while still loathing your own skill.

Yeah.  Society fucking sucks, they way it fucks with our self-esteem.

10:40am  |   URL:
Filed under: fandom 
September 18, 2014
trying to find a Harry Potter fic…

….that was written mostly in textspeak, like the really early days of textspeak where ‘a’ was @ and ‘e’ was 3.  Like the fic was written in the early 2000s, probably.  And it was Harry and Draco texting each other constantly and I think they were either a couple or they were love-hate situation where they were made to live together or something.  It was all extremely cracky and out-of-context, but in a very well-done, still-in-character sort of way.

And Harry and Draco are yelling at each other in caps lock about something and then suddenly Draco just asks out of the blue:  DO U W@NT CHKN

Because Draco is getting a chicken for dinner or something.  But anyway that one line was like one of the funniest lines ever.  Draco asking if Harry wants chicken for dinner, in the middle of a ridiculous textfight, no punctuation or anything just this demand of if they should have chicken for dinner, in the middle of their huge fight.  

ANYWAY if anyone remembers this fic, please remind me what it was and who wrote it!! I feel like it was by a really popular writer as well.  Possibly Cassie Clare, lolololollllll.  Maybe Maya?  Someone like that, I think. I could be wrong, though.

I remember it was so bizarre and experimental and hilarious but I couldn’t even really finish it because I was so unused to reading the ‘l33tsp3@k’ style of texting that I eventually just had to stop reading it before my brain exploded. 

September 15, 2014

(Source: naruuto-kuun, via piddlebucket)

September 12, 2014

stephanie beatriz/melissa fumero + social media

(Source: jbaggles, via mayasownmenagerie)

September 12, 2014

zayn malik appreciation week // day 2 - favorite trait


(via mayasownmenagerie)

September 12, 2014


When I was younger, I used to be all like hmph I wish I could go out all day and everyday, and now I’m like 


(via ohseranders)

September 12, 2014
"It’s interesting that you have a number of directors and showrunners out there who just have all caucasian casts. Now, they see color. They may not tell you. And you know why they won’t tell you? Because you won’t put them to task… So they will continue doing what they’re doing and they’re the ones who really need to be pushed in that direction. Shonda doesn’t have the problem."

Viola Davis, on why Shonda Rhimes is the wrong person to ask about diversity [x] (via buzzfeedent)

Entertainment reporters only interrogate creators of color about diversity casting (Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling) but never put white creators under the same spotlight.  Why? To perpetuate the white-as-default myth, reassuring white people that diversity is solely the responsibility and duty of those under-represented.

The media is biased as hell.

(via mayasownmenagerie)

September 12, 2014

(Source: sholock, via notcuddles)

September 12, 2014

The problem with Alfredo from Elementary is that the only other context I’ve known ‘alfredo is ‘fettuccine alfredo’ and then I start to salivate and crave pasta so much it’s like pavlovian.

September 12, 2014

I practice extreme obliviousness.  In fact, I’ve tried to perfect this skill: I assume no one looks at me and I like it that way. MUCH RELIEF!!!  But I clearly remember the two times I got randomly catcalled/unwanted male attention.

The first time I was in my early twenties and leaving work, heading to the bus stop. Daytime. I was feeling good about myself. I actually made an effort to be cute with a short skirt and short heels and lipstick (*GASP!!!* because usually I threw on jeans and sneakers, no make-up) and I made it a whole day in a skirt I kept self-consciously tugging down and my somewhat ouchy heels.  My mom’s voice rattled in the back of my head:  ”Beauty isn’t comfortable!”  I still don’t understand that mindset - but by golly that day I was trying to abide by it! Maybe even learn to like it!   This large college-age man with short greasy blond hair was walking towards me, and I just glanced his furtive, sweaty face.  If it was 2014, he’d be a brony.  As he passed me he whispered what he wanted to do to me.  I won’t repeat it.  I kept walking, ignoring him as cold shimmied down my entire self, and only like ten steps away from him, I turned and shouted “EXCUSE ME?”.  It was the best I could muster in my shock and horror.  He turned and glanced at me and shuffled away. So much for ‘beauty’. I felt so foolish and stupid and like I deserved it for my short skirt and short heels and lipstick, even as I knew logically that wasn’t true.

This is what society teaches girls to feel:  Make sure to look pretty, but also make sure to feel ashamed for it.

The second time was with a couple girlfriends, we were exiting a bar late at night and some dudes outside started trying to get our numbers, wanting to hang out, get our names, blah blah.  Or really, I assumed their attention was on my two friends - both white, attractive and very out-going - since the pub was a white-people hangout.  We all laughingly, sweetly but firmly told them nope, thanks but bye.  I was the most vocal about gigglingly deflecting their aggressive advances.  My friends happily continued their conversation  as we walked away, but I heard the guys turn hostile.  One of them called us woman-hating names and targeted my skin color specifically, I remember.  Because as the brown person, I was, like…I dunno.  The joyless one taking away his fun with my more flirty friends, I guess?  What surprised me even more was that my girlfriends didn’t hear a thing.  I was silent all the way up the block.  Finally I told them, and they were so surprised, they hadn’t heard anything, and omg he said something racist too?  I figured this was their inbuilt self-defence mechanism, but I also started wondering if I imagined it, if I even heard it, if I was being overly-sensitive, if my perception was the skewed one.  

This is also what society teaches girls to feel:  Never be sure of your own experiences, always doubt your own thoughts so someone else’s behaviour can be excused.

September 11, 2014

toujoursher said: Should you read The Maze Runner? Welp, it's actually halfway decent re: race, apart from assuming that white is the norm and only describing skin color when it's not white. But several of the main supporting characters are PoC, and they're not fetishized in any way that was obvious to me. I agree that the treatment of female characters (and distinct LACK of them) is an issue, but I've only read 1.5 books so far. Worst part? God-awful metaphors. It reads like it was written by a savvy 12 y/o.

AHAHAH!! Sounds good, thanks!  And like, if it’s Gordon Korman kinda savvy 12 y/o then I’m down with that. 

September 11, 2014

letthisloveflyfree said: (cont) is that of course the main character is white and after a while everything in his perception kind of ignores everyone that isn't him or the few people he interacts with. so in theory you have this big multi-racial group working together. but you hardly see any of that. but Minho is the shit and I love him. (He's great in the second book too. still reading the third.) The really big problem with this series is with female characters and honestly it's pretty bad in that regard.


September 11, 2014

letthisloveflyfree said: re: The Maze Runner. Minho is a fantastic character. the post is right in that there aren't any stupid stereotypes attached to him. the whole premise of the book is that there is this large boys only group trapped in a place called The Glade and everyday a few of them head out into The Maze to try and figure out an escape. it's been a little while since I read it and as far as race goes it does okay. there are characters of color that are not reduced down to stereotypes. that problem

I read this, but I’m too distracted by your mesmerizing avatar photo selfie, my friend.  Dear buddy.  Sweet pal.  SEE YOU IN FLORIDA.

September 11, 2014
Say No to CW’s Supernatual Poster Contest


Hey followers, the CW is currently holding a contest for posters.

What’s the prize for this contest? ”Winners will receive social notoriety.”

That sounds great, right?

Actually, it’s pretty shitty. The CW is taking advantage of its fans, most of whom are not professional artists, to get free artwork. They’re using the promise of exposure to lure you to make art for them instead of hiring and paying actual artists.

We call this spec work. READ MORE ABOUT WHY SPEC WORK IS BADSpec work demeans the value of art for everyone, especially artists who work for a living.

Showtime recently tried to do the same thing to artist Dan Cassaro.

I know what some of you are thinking. “I’m a nobody in the art world. I need exposure. This is a great opportunity for me. Stop being such an elitist, Euclase. Everyone should have a chance to get their work seen.”

Yes. And after your work gets seen, do the jobs come rolling in? Maybe, if you’re lucky. But what will definitely happen is that The CW will keep doing this. And so will other companies who think it’s okay to take advantage of its fans. If the CW wants artists, they should hire artists or license artists, not make up a contest to get art for free.

You can enter this contest, and you might win exposure now, but you won’t get any jobs later on because there won’t be any. Because every art job out there will be a contest that pays in “social notoriety.”

A TV network can’t even offer a prize?  Like ok if you can’t give a cash prize, you can’t even cough up a swag prize???  A TELEVISION NETWORK????????????? No. NOPE.  Artists, do not do this for ‘social notoriety’ that is undercutting your fellow artists.

(via burntcopper)

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