voting against gay marriage is like ordering a piece of cake at a restaurant and having a complete stranger be like “waiter, cancel that cake”
"waiter cancel that cake it’s ruining my cake and i don’t know how to explain it to my children"
"my dietbook said I can’t have cake so throw that guy’s cake away too."
I am surprised by how much sex I have had in my life that I didn’t want to have. Not exactly what’s considered “real” rape, or “date” rape, although it is a kind of rape of the spirit - a dishonest portrayal or distortion of my own desire in order to appease another person.
I said yes because I felt it was too much trouble to say no. I said yes because I didn’t want to have to defend my “no,” qualify it, justify it - deserve it. I said yes because I thought I was so ugly and fat that I should just take sex every time it was offered, because who knew when it would be offered again. I said yes to partners I never wanted in the first place, because to say no at any point after saying yes for so long would make our entire relationship a lie, so I had to keep saying yes in order to keep the “no” I felt a secret. That is such a messed-up way to live, such an awful way to love.
So these days, I say yes only when I mean yes. It does require some vigilance on my part to make sure I don’t just go on sexual automatic pilot and let people do whatever. It forces me to be really honest with myself and others. It makes me remember that loving myself is also about protecting myself and defending my own borders. I say yes to me.
I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but at the time, so did the Zygon!
a line written by a man who is consistently shocked when people call him a misogynist (via theumbrellaseller)
Actually, this was a line from a speech that Queen Elizabeth herself gave to her army just before they went into battle in 1588.
Wanna hear the full quoted excerpt?
"I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm; the which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.”
So not only is this line a little historic inside-joke, and an actual quote said by the woman herself, but it’s literally Queen Elizabeth speaking to her troops about how although she is physically unable to fight and may be dismissed for being a woman, she’s still equal to a man when judged by her heart, soul and inner strength, and she’ll remain standing by her army and show her courage that way.
I know that it’s easy to accuse Moffat of sexism on several occasions, but this isn’t one of them. If anything, it’s neat that he gave a nod to this speech so that it can be further remembered within pop culture. Instead, this speech requires the Words Win Wars theme or something.
My issue is not with the first part of the quote, it’s with the second: “but at the time, so did the Zygon.”
Queen Elizabeth’s famous quote begins by acknowledging her detractors but she quickly moves to show them that her “weak and feeble body” is in no way going to stop her from doing a “man’s” job. It’s a basic rhetorical move: present the idea you are combating as your opponent sees it upfront, then present your counterarguments in contrast so that, by the end, you’ve drawn those of the opposite opinion into agreement with—or, at least, consideration of—your viewpoint. And you don’t need a whole speech, either; this kind of rhetorical structure can be used to great effect at the sentence level.
Moffat removes the counterarguments and replaces them with something that reinforces the first small phrase, the part that only exists in order to look ridiculous by the end. The resulting quote puts Moffat squarely in the same camp of men (and women) 400 years ago who doubted Queen Elizabeth I. That, my friends, is pretty darn sexist.
And it’s not like this is the only way the historical allusion could turn out. I’m not a TV writer and comedy is my weak spot, but here are some “rough draft” alternatives that could have reinforced QE1’s original message, or at least not contradicted it:
- …but I never let that stop me.
- …but I have the tactical genius of a King.
- …but I am an Englishwoman.
- …but a good knife evens all competition.
- …but the Zygon didn’t know that there’s more to me than my body. (okay, that’s my soapbox showing)
So yeah, the original quote may not have been a deliberate strike against sexism, but Moffat’s modified version is pretty much the opposite.
"The Lindworm" by Naomi Butterfield
AMAZING OBSCURE FAIRY TALE, MUCH? OKAY OKAY OKAY, HERE:
A King and Queen ruled in a time of peace and abundance; the only mar upon their happiness was that they had no children, through their youth and even into their middle age, despite many fervent hopes and prayers. One day the Queen went walking on a forest path without her attendants. There, in the dark quiet of her despair, an old woman found her.
"My dear," asked the woman, "why are you so sad?"
"It doesn’t matter," answered the Queen, gently. "It wouldn’t make a difference if you knew."
"You may be surprised."
"The King and I have no children. He lacks an heir, and I have always wanted a child of my own to care for. But you see, that’s not something you can help."
"Of course it is," nodded the woman, for naturally she was a witch. "Listen and do as I say; take a drinking cup and place it upside-down in your garden tonight. In the morning, you will find two roses beneath it - one red, one white. If you eat the red rose you shall give birth to a son, and the white rose shall give you a girl. But remember that you must not eat both."
"No," the woman said.
Astonished, and not a little suspicious, the Queen agreed. That night she did as the old woman had instructed, and in the morning she discovered two small roses under the cup’s brim.
"But which one should I choose?" thought the Queen. "If I have a son, he may grow into a man who marches off to war and dies. If I have a daughter, she may stay longer with me, but I will have to see her given away in marriage. In the end, I may have no child after all."
At last she decided on the white rose, but it was so sweet to the taste - and the thought of losing a daughter to marriage was so bitter - that she ate the red rose as well, hardly remembering the old woman’s warning.
Shortly afterwards, as happens in such stories, the Queen was found to be with child. Her husband was traveling when the time came for her to give birth, and so he did not bear witness to what happened, which was this:
The Queen’s first child was no child at all, but instead there tumbled forth from her body the long, scaly one of a lindworm, a hideous dragon with a venomous bite. It scrabbled out the window on its two legs, even before the terrified midwives could move to do anything, and amidst the chaos the Queen delivered a second child as well. This one was a fine, handsome boy, healthy and perfectly formed, and the Queen made her midwives swear that they would tell no one what they had seen. And when the King arrived home, joyous at the news of his son’s birth, not a word was said.
Years passed, so that the Queen wondered if it had not been a terrible dream. Soon enough it came time for the prince to find a wife, and he set out with his guard to a neighboring kingdom to ask for its princess’s hand in marriage. But suddenly a great lindworm appeared, and laid itself before the prince’s horse, and from its jagged-tooth mouth came a voice:
"A bride for me before a bride for you!"
The prince and his company turned about to flee. The Lindworm blocked their passage and spoke again.
"A bride for me before a bride for you!"
The prince journeyed home to tell his parents. Distraught, the Queen confessed that it was true. The Lindworm was indeed the elder brother of the prince, and so by rights should marry first. The King wrote to the ruler of a distant land, asking that they send their princess to marry his son: but he did not say which one.
A lovely princess journeyed to the kingdom, and did not see her bridegroom until he appeared beside her in the Great Hall, and by then (naturally) it was too late. The next morning they found the Lindworm asleep alone in the bridal bedchamber, and it was quite clear he had devoured his new wife.
A second princess was sent, and a third. Both met the same fate, but each time the prince dared to embark on a journey, the Lindworm would appear again and speak:
"A bride for me before a bride for you!"
"Father," the prince said, " we must find a wife for my elder brother."
"And where am I to find her?" asked the King. "We have already made enemies of the men who sent their daughters to us. Stories are spreading fast, and I am sure no princess would dare to come now."
So instead the King went to the royal gardener’s cottage, where he knew the old man lived with his only daughter.
"Will you give me your daughter to marry my son, the Lindworm?" asked the King.
"No!" cried the gardener. "Please, she is everything I have in this world. Your monstrous son has eaten his way through three princesses, and he’ll gobble her up just the same. She’s too good for such a fate.”
"You must," the King said, "You must."
Distraught, the gardener told his daughter everything. She agreed to the King’s request and went into the forest so that her father would not see her weeping.
And there, in the dark quiet of her despair, an old woman found her.
"My dear," asked the woman, "why are you so sad?"
"I’m sorry," answered the girl, kindly. "It wouldn’t make a difference if I told you."
"You may be surprised."
"How can that be? I’m to be married to the King’s son, the Lindworm. He’s eaten his first three brides, and I don’t know what will stop me from meeting the same end. That’s not something you can help me with."
"Of course it is," nodded the woman again. "Listen and do as I say. Before the marriage ceremony, dress yourself in ten snow-white shifts beneath your gown. Ask that a tub of lye, a tub of milk, and as many birch rods as a man can carry be brought to your bridal chamber. After you are wed, and your husband orders you to disrobe, bid him to shed a skin first. He will ask you this nine times, and when you are left wearing one shift you must whip him with the rods, wash him in the lye, bath him in the milk, wrap him in the discarded shifts, and hold him in your arms."
"Do I truly have to hold him?" the girl asked, in disgust.
"You must. It may mean your life."
The girl was suspicious, but she agreed to the woman’s plan however absurd it seemed. When the day came for the marriage, she dressed herself in ten white shifts before donning the heavy gown they offered her. When she looked upon her husband for the first time, waiting for her in the Great Hall, her steps did not falter. And when she asked for the rods, the lye, and the milk, she said it with such ease that the servant could do nothing but obey.
Finally, the girl and the Lindworm were left alone in the darkened bedchamber. For a moment she listened to the rasp and click of his scales on stone, and heard his soughing breath.
"Maiden," said the Lindworm, "shed your shift for me."
"Prince Lindworm," answered the girl, "shed your skin first!"
"No one has ever asked me that before," the answer came.
"I am asking it of you now."
So the Lindworm shed a skin, and the girl shed a shift, but she revealed the second shift underneath.
"Maiden," said the Lindworm, a second time, "shed your shift for me."
"Prince Lindworm," answered the girl, again, "shed your skin first!"
They repeated this, nine times in all, and each time the Lindworm shed a skin the girl removed another white shift, until she was left wearing one.
The Lindworm, shivering and weak and bloodied, spoke his request a last time.
"Wife," asked the Lindworm, "will you shed your shift for me?"
"Husband,"answered the girl, "will you shed your skin first?"
And the Lindworm did as she asked of him, tearing himself free of scales and armor even to the bare flesh beneath, and the girl whipped the writhing creature with her birch rods until they snapped; she carried the whole massive length of him to the tubs, lye and milk, washed him clean and bathed him and swathed him in the shifts like a great, terrible child, collapsed to the floor with her husband in her arms, and there she stayed until, exhausted, she fell asleep.
When she woke, it was to the timid knocking of a servant on the door.
"Princess?" asked the servant. "Princess? Are you alive?"
The girl looked about the bedchamber: there in the morning light were the dried skins, and the tubs, and the broken rods, and the blood, and in her arms slept a pale, weary, but very handsome man.
"Yes," she answered. "Yes, I am."
The King and Queen were astounded and thrilled to hear how the girl had saved their son from his curse, and she ruled together with her husband for many long years, and thus closes our tale of the most intense game of strip poker that you shall ever hear.
It’s the disconnect of being trained since birth to look a certain way, only to have dudes turn around and go, “Don’t you know we hate all that stuff on your face?” Like it was our idea! Like women collectively woke up one day and thought, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to slap a bunch of chemicals and dyes on our faces every morning from now on?”
We’ve got a multi-billion dollar industry doing their best to remind us daily that we need what they’re selling, so don’t act all befuddled about where we got the idea that we looked better this way. Plus, it’s not like men don’t still expect us to look beautiful. They just don’t want us cheating with cosmetics. Hope your face is naturally flawless!
And while we’re talking, don’t you ladies know how annoying it is that you’re all hung up on your weight? Sure, we expect you to have a great body. But don’t be one of those lame girls who orders salads on a date. We like to see you eat!
Most of the time, when men say they prefer “natural beauty,” they don’t mean that they’re ready for us to start leaving the house the way we roll out of bed in the morning. They mean that they want us to look perfect without appearing to try.
Basically, it’s a trap.
- it’s bullshit disingenuous rejection of responsibility for patriarchal beauty standards
- it hides yet another performance standard: never let us SEE what we are doing to you
- it shows contempt for effort. people are not supposed to try at anything, you’re supposed to be a gifted special snowflake
- and admitting that femininity is effort means fundamentally undercutting the idea that women are flighty and trivial and weak
- and it makes - OF COURSE - the whole thing about dude’s boners, and not the way there are social and financial consequences for not being a little made-up
- and it is so hostile to the idea of self-expression? someone who wears bright red lipstick does not think that people will actually assume their lips REALLY ARE bright red, any more than we assume a dude who shaves his face is naturally hairless, or think that a person wearing a blue shirt actually has blue arms. sometimes we make aesthetic choices to communicate with the world.
- which in and of itself depends on women as fundamentally underhanded. of course even the way we present ourselves is a bald-faced lie
basically it is a Gross Things About The Patriarchy 101 midterm all rolled up into one passive-aggressive bid for a pat on the back over some Nice Guy’s “enlightenment”