I THINK I FIGURED OUT THE REASON I HATE RENT!*
Okay, I know they’re supposed to be young bohemian artists and stuff and you gotta stick it to the man and all that, but I’ve only seen the movie and GIVE ME A BREAK, these people are in their thirties and forties. PAY YOUR FUCKING RENT. I AM 22 AND I AM ARGUABLY AN ~*ARTIST*~ AND I DON’T GET TO SING A SONG AND THROW PAPER INTO THE STREET, I HAVE TO SUCK IT UP AND EAT A LOT OF BORING STUFF AND SPEND A LOT OF TIME WORRYING ABOUT MONEY. I know they are trying to start an ~*artistic revolution*~ which I can’t say I disagree with on principle but just gets my TEETH GRITTING IN FRUSTRATION because anyone with any real sense of money would know that shit doesn’t fucking fly.
LOOK I KNOW IT IS JUST A MUSICAL AND I AM A CRAZY PERSON BUT AGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGH I HATE WATCHING PEOPLE BE SO IRRESPONSIBLE AND SO HAPPY ABOUT IT
*Besides overexposure to that ONE STUPID SONG. Oh, and how it tries to portray suffering and drug addiction as terrible but totally ends up romanticizing them, I mean.
Today I went to go see Les garçons et Guillaume, à table!, mostly because it was playing at a convenient time and the poster’s typography was nice. I had no idea it was going to be a fascinating exploration of gender presentation, gender identity, and sexuality that was, in turns, beautiful, tender, hysterical, painful, and ultimately unsatisfying. I think.
If you get a chance to see this movie, I highly highly highly recommend it––it’s really very beautifully done, the acting is incredible, and it’s a bit experimental in a way that truly supplements the story rather than detracts from it. And if I were a 100% straight cisgendered person who wasn’t interested in queer media, I would probably have loved it without qualms: it’s the autobiographical story of a boy named Guillaume (whose mother always called him and his brothers to dinner by saying “Boys and Guillaume, to the table!”) who grew up thinking of himself as female, then thinking of himself as gay, then, finally, realizes he’s actually heterosexual and marries the girl of his dreams––but!! the actor plays both himself and his mother, and not for laughs, so it’s clear that while he identifies and presents as a straight dude, he’s still being extremely respectful of the queer community, which, y’know, I appreciate.
However, the explanation for his gender confusion is that his mother treated him as a daughter when he was young, going so far as to call him “ma chérie” on occasion rather than “mon cher,” in part because she wanted a daughter, in part to distinguish him from his brothers, in part because she loved him so deeply she couldn’t bear for him to be heterosexual and replace her with another woman. Now, again, it was done very well, it was the perfect narrative arc from the beginning since that focused on Guillaume’s desire to mimic his mother, and since it was an autobiographical story it clearly wasn’t meant to fall into the trap of queer stereotypes, but I can’t decide whether Guillaume’s heterosexual triumph over his overprotective mother is too ~*Freudian horror story*~ for me to accept or whether the rest of the film––and the fact that his “triumph” is mostly just him finally being comfortable in his sexuality and gender identity, which happen to be cis and straight––made up for it.
I’d like to see it again. I really do recommend it, despite the uncomfortable feeling I got during the last few minutes. It was SO BEAUTIFULLY ACTED.
Anonymous asked: Do you ever avoid dressing a certain way when going on a date, mostly because you don't want to solidify that first impression as indicative of how you always dress? I don't want to give a false impression that I'm more femme than I am but I sometimes like makeup and dressing up. I don't identify as either butch or femme, nor do I work hard enough at dressing in either direction to register on others' gaydar. It's weird how much work is involved to not read as "generic, boring, het".
Yeah, I know what you mean, Anon. Lately my dates have been sort of the opposite of this, because I’m very much not in the market for a long-term relationship, so I’m more in the headspace of “Who shall I be tonight?? The wardrobe is my oyster!” and I mostly assume I will not be hanging out with the person long enough for them to react one way or the other to the slowly-swinging pendulum of my gender expression. (Or else we’re hanging out as friends or friends-with-benefits, in which case I feel like they probably know me well enough to get past it or even expect it.)
But in the past it’s been an issue for sure. I don’t identify one way or the other either, but I am VERY often read as femme when I’m not read as straight, even in a three-piece suit. And other women—both women I read as butch and women I read as femme—have made assumptions about who I am and how I’m going to act and what/who I’m going to like, based on that impression. So sometimes it comes down to a choice between dressing as the person I feel I am in the moment, versus dressing for the impression I want to give—when I even know what that impression is, which I often don’t, because on a first date I don’t know what the other person’s preconceptions are going to be.
So anyway, yes, I totally get that. I mean, I suppose dressing for a first date is always a bit awkward, and all this is just extra stuff to factor in. :-P
A few months back, I went to a Tegan & Sara concert with my (straight, kind of sheltered) work friend back in Spokane. Spokane’s a pretty conservative area; there aren’t a lot of young queers compared to bigger and more liberal cities, but I think most of them were there that night, and most of us, including me, were dressed in some version of the PNW casual andro queer uniform: skinny jeans, converse or similar, plaid/checked shirt, short, asymmetrical haircut. My friend was somewhat confused, partly surprised to see so many iterations of the same outfit, but also because that wasn’t really how I dressed at all at work.
To explain, as best I could, I asked her to think about what considerations she took into account when dressing each day or for an event, then asked if one of them was what sort of gendered implications each item had and how the mix of each might project her identity. That wasn’t important for her; wasn’t, in fact, something she had ever thought about, while I think for any queer person interested in fashion that’s a fairly common way of negotiating what you’re wearing. Personally, I skew very femme, or on the dandyish side of dapper/butch, but I definitely play up a more masculine or androgynous side when it’s important to me to be read as queer. (On the contrast, at that time my job in catering sales/wedding planning depended on my being approachable and friendly-seeming to couples of all sorts, but most often straight, white, middle- to upper-middle-class, young, moderately conservative and traditional couples. Which meant I femmed it the hell up at work, tried my best to be hip instead of nerdy, etc.) Now, on the other hand, it’s fairly important for me to perform my queerness in my academic/professional life for a number of reasons, and I’ve been much more comfortable lately suiting up one day and wearing a form-fitting dress and heels the next. That also means there’s no one perfect “first date” outfit that fits exactly how I see myself.
While I’m blathering, I love this tag of yours, hbbo: #all my clothes are costumes, because that’s completely my favorite way to think about my clothes, as well: as ways of performing different ways of being. I tend to think of any given outfit as somewhat themed (today was mod-by-way-of-80s-dandy-rocker; tomorrow I’m thinking mid-century-Highland-winter-vacation a la the Queen at Balmoral). I was just thinking tonight how much I’d adore a silk turban and velvet smoking slippers to complete my eccentric-1920s loungewear outfit, because why not?
I have to give Toulousebasil credit for the “all my clothes are costumes” tag; I must admit that I only ripped it off from them. But it’s so brilliant! You are brilliant, Toulousebasil.
In other news, this is a really interesting anecdote, about breaking down your thoughts about clothes & gender for someone to whom that was an alien concept. I know I tend to be so deep in that mindset that it doesn’t even occur to me that it would come as a revelation for others.
It’s interesting because even in a lot of… women-created media that’s not explicitly queer but is of an era with the advent of “queer studies,” I often encounter the idea of dressing to express a momentary state of being, even if it doesn’t relate specifically to gender. I’m thinking about, like, Belly’s “Sad Dress” and “White Belly,” and Kathleen Hanna talking in Punk Planet about this dichotomy where, in the public imagination, men are supposed to just emanate from their core being and “act how they act,” whereas women “want to look like they’re sad, so they buy a sad outfit.” Obviously this is not true of “men” versus “women” split along a neat line (and it’s questionable whether any individual falls 100% into either behavior pattern), but I do think, culturally, that we imagine masculinity as authentic and femininity as constructed, and that therefore we as a society tend to devalue the kind of conscious self-presentation and self-construction associated with “female” things like clothes and fashion. One of the things I think is great about queer culture in general is that it highlights the tremendously constructed nature of both mainstream masculinity and mainstream femininity, and at its best it gives permission to be playful and experimental with self-presentation. When I was with my ex, he found the idea of such a fluid and performative identity really threatening, because it seemed “fake” and “inauthentic” to him—but I don’t think it has to be, not at all. In fact, that’s one of the things that was so important to me about the Sherlock character in How the mouth changes its shape—that her ability to express her authentic self relies on maintaining its fluidity.
Anyway, short story long, I definitely relate to what you’re saying about dressing for the person you are in the moment. <3
This is said much more eloquently than I could manage, but yes, this, precisely this.
As a feminine-skewing queer woman, as a woman who is insecure about her body, and as a socially anxious introvert, my identity is extremely, extremely performative––and while my wardrobe is not as extensive as I’d like it to be due to the limits of space and money, it nonetheless allows me to pull personas on and off as necessary.
I also think it’s interesting, and sometimes frustrating, that queerness among women is so often typified as masculine. I’m curvy and I have a high voice, which I think contributes to the fact that even when I’m literally wearing men’s clothing, no one, as far as I know, reads me as queer (unless I say something to make it obvious).
Although I know it wasn’t hbbo’s point, nor lbmisscharlie, I want to point out that I hate to equate this kind of self-aware identity construction with the unfortunate connotations of “inauthentic,” but I don’t think “inauthentic” is always a bad thing to be: you don’t want to see my bleeding, vulnerable insides anymore than I want them to be seen, and my clothing is not only costume but armor, keeping my guts from spilling out before the battle’s over.
Knockout by Stacey Thomson (hatteress)
Your first love will hit you hard. In the mouth. With their mouth.
No Sex by Char Anderson (relenafanel)
It’s only fake if you say the word (otherwise it’s just a bad date)
Metastasis by Lara Brenin (rlnerdgirl)
When running from zombies, love can take awhile to catch up.
Lies Told: Roll Over by Audie Jinks (adoptedaxiom)
Living a high-risk life means bracing for impact.
The Love Song of J. Esther Li by Iliria Deti (tomato-greens)
Isn’t it amazing how awkward reuniting with old friends can be?
Check back Thursday for story summaries to learn even more about what you’ll see in issue 1!
* Don’t forget to reblog the Wayward Arrows Promotional Giveaway for a chance to win a gift box with tea from Lupicia!
GUESS WHAT’S HAPPENING TOMORROW
Okay, now that all my relatives’ stuff is finally gone, I’m gonna post actualfax pictures of my beautiful apartment soon, but here are a couple photos so you can get the idea. My kitchen is behind that window in the wall. (Yes, that is wine. And a Christmas tree decorated with spoons. WHAT.)
(On a side note: trying to discuss Christmas in the US with my students while maintaining a satisfactorily secular viewpoint is RIDIC, not least because they are all Catholic and a bunch of them celebrate religiously, and, vague monotheism and Christmas tree aside, I am not even close to being Christian.)
It’s essay writing season for tons of students!
After being a college writing tutor for over a year, I thought I would share my advice with all you awesome people on tumblr. This is how I write essays, but if you’ve got more tips, feel free to add them below.
Happy writing. You can do it!
This is actually brilliant.
TROOF, with the caveat that “in this essay, I argue that” will not work for every teacher because it uses a personal pronoun, so depending on your professor’s preferences you should write this sentence and then just go back and delete the first six words. Also, always ask yourself the question, “So what?”
I tutored all four years I was in college and it was hysterical because the way I wrote every college essay (other than my theses) was:
1) go into a fugue state
2) write essay from the first sentence straight through to the last in an eight-hour stretch, usually from about 8PM to 7AM on the due date––a couple extra hours are thrown in for desperate napping
3) e-mail essay to myself, run to the computer lab, print and hand in without proofreading
NO FOR REAL:
would you read this Albus Severus Goes To France fic if it was about educational reform in the wizarding world
this all sounds v reasonable to me! and beauxbatons as a school with non-french central european students makes sense but also kind of breaks my brain????
I ALSO FEEL THIS WAY but J.K.Rowling only mentioned Durmstrang and Beauxbatons when it comes to the Triwizard Tournament, so––like––I truly don’t know what to think! I would have at leeeeeast expected a German wizarding school (German is one of the languages of the learned, pre-1900! plus they have some nutty pagan history! surely there’s some Germanic magic going around!) to be mentioned in passing at some point, and I’m curious whether eastern Europe has its own magic schools that no one talks about because it’s eastern Europe and people in central & western Europe are assholes about eastern Europe. But as far as the three mentioned in canon, I have to assume that Hogwarts serves the U.K. and Ireland, Beauxbatons serves France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, probably most of Germany and Austria, and Durmstrang serves the rest of Europe (after all, Krum is from Bulgaria, which is nowhere near where Durmstrang is supposed to be).
…let’s not talk about how eastern and southeastern Europe is blatantly coded as either evil, disposed towards evilness, or too stupid to notice when evil is hiding there…
Now, as much as I love J.K. Rowling talking to death about the Potterverse, as a I said I am a written-text-only canon person, so I guess you can add as many schools of magic as you want wherever you want! And I firmly Do Not Believe that there are no wizarding higher education institutions in the whole of the wizarding world. HOWEVER (and I will talk about this with you in more detail, I’m sure, because there’s no way I can outline the entirety of French wizarding schooling system in this fic…or is there?), I actually think having different central European students in Beauxbatons could be a really interesting thing to talk about, because what do you do with all of them? how do you accommodate different languages? how do you foster an international/european/magical identity while allowing students to maintain their national identities? how do you deal with immigration & people wanting to stay in France afterwards? why is Beauxbatons in France, anyway, and how does that relate to muggle France’s current not-quite-a-superpower-anymore identity crisis? I HAVE A LOT OF IDEAS. or, okay, France has a lot of problems right now and I just want to babble about them and add in some magic.
this fic has no plot yet. can I just write academic papers about wizarding schooling systems? that sounds fun.
I have been thinking about Beauxbatons and J.K. Rowling said it was probably somewhere near Cannes in the south of France but, first of all, I am a canon-is-the-written-text-only kind of girl, and also––
they didn’t even really speak French (which was basically a constructed language invented through the 14th century based on a dialect spoken in the Paris region) in the south of France until after the Jules Ferry laws (1881-1882), and then it took about twenty years to cycle through a full generation of kids who could speak French fluently, and it wasn’t until the interwar period that everyone spoke French. so unlesss they renamed the school (which––would they? maybe?? actually probably someone would force the issue), it wouldn’t be called Beauxbatons.
PLUS: ~*French*~ culture (national as opposed to regional culture) has always been alarmingly Paris-centric, so I find it difficult to believe that a school which serves not only France but presumably much of central Europe would be in area that is extremely loyal to regional history as opposed to national history. honestly I would expect it to be more in one of the chateaux of the Loire valley (which of course served the Paris/Versailles region and thus brought Parisian fashions & language to that area of the countryside) much more than I would expect it to be the south!
…OKAY I HAVE PROBABLY THOUGHT ABOUT THIS MORE THAN J.K. ROWLING AT THIS POINT BUT I’M JUST SAYING IT BEARS CONSIDERING