Anonymous asked: do you think robert loved lyanna? i'd like to think despite his obvious flaws, he cared for deeply, and they have made very apparent in not only the books, but the television show as well. *cries at mark addy's acting*

emliaclark:

lol, mark addy’s a genius. robert’s love for lyanna is what a lot of men do today. robert was in love with the idea of lyanna, not the actual individual. i think he idolized her, put her on this unrealistic pedestal, and most importantly, dehumanized her. she became a sort of enigma for robert. you have to remember that robert didn’t actual know her. ‘'You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert. You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath.”this quote pretty much sums up the entire thing. its sad that robert felt a kind of ‘emptiness’ when lyanna died, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior towards cersei or anyone for that matter. i think if lyanna were alive and married robert, it would be a much worse marriage, then robert seems to think. 

@8 hours ago with 15 notes

ink-splotch:

  I was so tall.

You were older then.

Can we talk about Susan Pevensie for a moment?

Let’s talk about how, when the war ends, when the Pevensie children go back to London, Susan sees a young woman standing at the train platform, weeping, waving. 

First, Susan thinks civilian; and second, she thinks not much older than me.

Third, Susan thinks Mother.

They surge off the train, into their parents’ arms, laughing, embracing. Around them, the train platform is full of reunions (in her life, trains will give so much to Susan, and take so much away).

Over her mother’s shoulders, Susan sees Peter step solemnly back from his father so that Edmund can swoop in to get his hair paternally ruffled. She meets Peter’s eyes across the space, the way they saw each other over battlefields and tents full of the wounded, in negotiations and formal envoys.

She has always seen Peter when others only saw the king, only duty embodied in a young man’s slight, noble features. Susan can see him now, the way he looks at their father. Once, parents had meant protection, authority, solidity. But Peter’s shoulders are slender, are steady, will be weighed down every moment of the rest of his life. She can see it in him, the unreasonable hopes he had that as mighty a figure as a father might take some of that weight from him.

Their father has one hand on Lucy’s round cheek and he is weeping, for all he is pretending not to. He’s a good man, a portly one, thinner than when they left, but Susan can see the loss in the slope of Peter’s shoulders. This good man cannot lighten the king’s load; he only adds one more responsibility to the towering pile. Susan crosses the space to take Peter’s hand. He inhales and straightens his spine.

"You’ve all grown so much," their mother says.

Edmund is too young to register, but older now than he was at his first war; Lucy, who had been so young when they had left, grew into herself in a world filled with magic. All of them, they have responsibility pressed into their shoulders, old ropes they can’t even grasp for. No one is asking them to take that mantle on their shoulders, and that’s the hardest part. You get used to the weight. You build your world around it, build your identity into the crooks and crannies of the load you carry.

Can we talk about how much the gossipy young girls who cluster in the schoolyard must feel like children to her? And Susan has forgotten about being a child. She is the blessed, the chosen, the promised. Susan has decades on them, wars, loss and betrayal, victory and growing fields, the trust of her subjects. It was a visceral thing, to have all those lives under her protection and to know that her subjects slept safe, peacefully, on dark nights. Here, on this drab concrete, her people are untouchable, indefensible; her self is vanished, her kingdom gone; she can feel the loss like a wound. She has lost her power, but that trust, that responsibility remains. It circles her ankles, trips her in the school hallways.

She barely speaks to her schoolmates. The first few years back, guilt lives in her shaking hands.

For a long time Susan doesn’t want to be tied down to anything (she doesn’t want anything tied down to her, because she has, it seems, a pattern of disappearing). Peter pours himself into schoolwork and extracurriculars. He wakes and works, excels in his steady way, like he owes someone something. 

Lucy befriends wayward girls like they were shy dryads, sly naiads. Lucy walks the playground with all the bright, sprightly grace of a girl who could find worlds in the backs of wardrobes, and she finds smiles in schoolgirls, finds enough of herself to give away.

Lucy gives faith, Susan gives effort, time, work—there are many differences between them, these two sister queens, but this was one. But for a long time, after they return, Susan doesn’t give anything. She is a queen who has abandoned her kingdom and she feels that in the very bend of her spine. She will build no more kingdoms, she swears. Her shoulders ache under the weight of a responsibility she will never lose and now can never answer to.

It is Edmund, of all of them, who understands. He is the other who gets angry, for all he holds it in these days. He is Edmund the Just, after all, and weighs each word before he says it. She is Susan the Gentle, because she will give, will build; because where Peter is elevated by duty, she carries responsibility in soft hands, on worn shoulders, pours all she has into it.

It is Lucy who makes things more than they are. Girls are dryads and bullies are the cruel kind of wolf. Trees dance and every roar of a city bus is a hallo from a lion who is not tame. That is Lucy’s battle and she is as glorious as her sunrises. It would kill Susan to live her life strung between two worlds. They go on walks together, Lucy and her effortless blaze, Susan’s quiet sturdy stride. Lucy sings, but Susan watches; the trees do not dance. The trees are only trees.

A boy pulls at a girl’s pigtails across the schoolyard, yanks at the bow on the back of her dress. Susan sees a bully and she marches forward as a friend, a foe, a young woman furious and proud, a kingdomless queen. Susan draws herself up, the scant inches of height she will some day supplement with heels her siblings will scoff at. Dripping majesty, she moves across the ground (crowds part in her wake), and steps between the girl and the bully.

Let’s talk about how Susan was reading a book the day they went through the wardrobe; how she found it sitting, neatly bookmarked, beside her bed the day they came back. Her arms still felt clumsy then, her legs too short but also too gangly. She kept thinking about white stags, about if her mare got home safe, after, about the meetings she had lined up for the next week with the beavers, the heraldic university, the stonecutters’ union. She had paperwork on her desk she had meant to get to, petitions and letters from faun children who wanted to come on a field trip to Cair Paravel.

Susan had this waiting for her here, left out on her little bedside table: a penny and dime novel about a schoolgirl romance, half-read. Susan sat down on the twin mattress and took it in her hands. She remembered buying this, faintly (it had been years now; weeks before they boarded the train for the country, years from this weary shaking moment). She had wanted a detective mystery, but this had seemed more appropriate and she hadn’t wanted to look odd at the cash register.

At school, Susan sees a girl in mathematics who looks like a dryad, willowy limbs and distracted eyes. Where is your tree? Susan wants to ask. Is it safe? Is it blooming? She would fight to keep her safe, talk to her guards, go out on diplomatic missions, negotiate with the local woodcutters.

There’s a girl in the back row, shy, steady, who takes the best and swiftest notes in her very own shorthand. Susan finds herself wanting to recruit her for the Narnian scribe service. She shakes herself, but she approaches the girl after class anyway. Susan reads through wanted ads and helps the girl send out applications for internships.

Or another young woman; this one blazes bright, drawing people in her wake as she chases after efforts for raising money for a new library wing or cleaning up some local empty lot for the children. This girl laughs, shakes her mane of hair, and Susan wants to take her under her wing and teach her how to roar.

"Edmund is so solemn," says her mother, worried, to Susan. "Is he alright? And Lucy seems even less…" Her mother hesitates, chewing a lip.

"Present," Susan offers, because Lucy still has a foot in Narnia the way none of the rest of them do. Peter still holds the weight of his crown, certainly, and Edmund the load of his mistakes. Susan has the faded ink-stains of a hundred missives, orders, treaties, and promises she never got to send. (She wakes now, some nights, full of nerves for a formal audience the next morning, and remembers it is just a literature presentation. She feels relieved and useless).

But Lucy, Lucy walks in light. She dreams of dryads and when she closes her eyes she can hear them dancing in the wind on the upper boughs of the trees in the garden.

It is a stubborn faith, a steady one, harsh even. Lucy clings to things with two small hands that remember having calluses from reins, remember holding hands with dryads and dancing in the moonlight, remember running though a lion’s wild mane. Lucy grins (it is a defiance, not a grace, not a gift); she bares her teeth and goes dancing at midnight under trees that creak in a storm’s gale (she gets a cold and misses a week of school, for that). Lucy will believe until the end of the world, burning with that effortless faith. 

This is not effortless. “Such a happy child,” their mother says of Lucy, sighing relief, glancing uneasily at Edmund. Susan is not a happy child, but she is not meant to be. She is their stability, their quiet, the little, gentle mother, the nursemaid wise beyond her years. No one looks. They rely, and it makes Susan want to scream.

“Luce?” said Edmund. “Happy? I suppose. She’s more a fighter than any of us.”

Lucy gets up early in the mornings and goes outside to watch the sunrise while she eats her toast. Susan is jealous of her ease, for years; an early riser, a morning person, effortlessly romantic. There are days, when Susan is angry at schoolteachers, or missing her seneschal’s dry wit, days when Susan cannot find even the most glorious sunset to be anything more than just glaring light in her tired eyes. But Lucy, no, every day Lucy watches the sun rise and lets that fill her. Easy thinks Susan, jealous, and she is wrong. 

It is not for years that she realizes how much effort is tucked into Lucy’s bright smiles. The joy is not a lie, the faith is not contrived, but it is built. Lucy pulls herself out of bed each morning. She watches the fires of the day climb and conquer the sky, and dares her world to be anything less than magical.

Susan tired of bullies before she and her siblings had even finished with the White Witch’s defeat. She will stand it no more in this world than she had in Narnia. For the cruelest bullies: she digs up their weakness, their secrets, and holds them hostage. The misled, the hurting, she approaches sidelong, with all the grace of a wise ruler, a diplomat’s best subtle words against a foreign agitator with borders along an important trade route. The followers she sweeps past, gathers up, binds to her own loyalties. They may be allowed to become her fine guard if they deign to learn kindness, or at least respect.

Susan joins the newspaper because extracurriculars look good, and if she is going to live in this world she is going to do it well. She finds she likes it. She rubs ink into her palms and feels almost at home. She hunts down quaint little school stories overzealously, like the detectives in the novels stacked by her bed, like a queen hunting down secrets at her court.

(Lucy contributes poetry to the arts section of the paper. Susan only reads them on weeks she is feeling brave, because, like all of Lucy, her poetry picks you up and takes you away). 

When Susan wakes up, these nights, dreaming of ink on her fingers, she doesn’t expect to find her desk at Cair Paravel. Or, when she does, she squeezes her eyes open and looks around at the newspaper room on submission night. The copy editor fumes quietly, a writer hyperventilates in a corner, another clatters away. An editor coaxes into the telephone, talking with their printer, negotiating for time. It is not quite a council of war, but it is hers. It is not quite a kingdom, but Susan’s still a child, after all. She has time to grow into this skin.

When Caspian’s horn calls them home, the Pevensies stand in the ruin of their palace. Thick, old trees, not saplings, not young wildflowers, grow over the graves of the petitioners Susan had never gotten to meet with, of the children who had written her letters in careful, blocky handwriting. When I grow up I want to be as beautiful as you. 

Susan, standing in ankle deep grass on the cracked flagstones of the home she had spent most of her life in, has the gangly, growing limbs of an adolescent. A horn’s call (her horn) is ringing in her bones, centuries too late. That call has always been ringing in her, really, shaking her hands, reverberating her lungs, since the day a queen tumbled back through a wardrobe and into a life she hadn’t missed.

Susan stands under a mound, in the ruins of a castle, on a battlefield. Her Narnia has grown out of itself, grown into itself; her subjects are gone, but there is an army at her feet who trusts her. She left, but they did not lose faith. Susan does not feel absolved. She feels guiltier than ever, to know they kept faith she didn’t deserve. She wonders if this is how Aslan feels about Lucy.

The very shape of the land has changed. Mounds stand over old broken tables and rivers have become deep chasms. Her body is the body of a growing child, and her heart is that of a widow twice over.

When Susan leaves Narnia for the last time, she steps back into a world where she has ten articles to review by Monday, an essay due the next week, and a mathematics test on Friday. She has dishes to do and Lucy to keep an eye on. She wants to weep for days, but instead she goes home, plucks a detective novel off her bedside table, and tries to remember where she left off.

Susan doesn’t cry, but she hardly sleeps. That call is still humming in her bones (it always will, even when she learns to call it by other names). Susan snaps at her lioness, her dryad, her scribe; her bully boys flee at her short temper. One of her friends finally takes her aside. “What’s going on, Su? You can tell me.”

She forgot people could give you kindnesses back. “I lost something important,” Susan says, and the tears finally start to fall.

She weeps into her friend’s shoulder while she murmurs comforting things. “I’m right here.”

You are, Susan thinks. And so am I.

There is wind in the treetops. They are only trees.

Susan was the chosen, the blessed, the promised. She does not want to be promised. She wants to promise, instead, to take the hands of brave friends and try to build something new. 

The only thing that will compare to this grief will happen years later, a train crash, a phone call to her flat to tell the awful news to the next of kin. Now, losing Narnia, these four are the only ones here who will remember that world. There is a loss in that. There is a fragility in that which terrifies.

After the crash, Susan will be the only one left to remember them.

Maybe it was a shunning and maybe it was a mercy, to leave Susan to grow old. She had had too many kingdoms ripped from her aching fingers to be willing to lose this one, so instead everything else she had was taken away.

Maybe it was an apology. Maybe a lion could better understand mourning the loss of a kingdom than the loss of siblings. Maybe he thought he was being kind. 

As Susan grows, her schoolmates stay in touch, young girls who grew in her shadows or strode in blazing light before her (both are strengths), the ones who walked with her and learned majesty from her older bones. She gets letters from her bullies, too, the ones she subverted through threats or kindnesses. Some are fathers, railway operators, preachers, bookshop cashiers. Her girls are mothers, some, or running libraries, charities, businesses from behind the throne; one is a butcher’s apprentice of all things, another battling her way towards a Ph.D.

One married a farmer’s boy with a warm smile and moved out into the country. Susan goes out to visit and they go walking through her fields and little copses of trees. The trees are only trees, and some of Susan’s heart will always break for that, but she watches her friend’s glowing face as she marks out the edges of her land, speaks with her hands. The trees are only trees, but they are hers.

Susan goes home by train, the country whisking by outside. She pours over notes, sketching article outlines in her notebook, deadlines humming in the back of her mind. Her pen flicks over the paper, her fingers stained with ink. This is hers.

Years later, Susan digs up old copies of her school papers. She goes through them, one by one, and reads each of Lucy’s poems.

Cross-legged on the floor, she cries, ugly sobs torn out of her, offered out to ghosts of sisters and brothers, parents, Narnian children grown old and buried under ancient trees, without her. Lucy’s poems take her away (they always do) and leave her weeping on her living room floor in her stockings.

Susan stacks the papers neatly, makes herself a mug of tea and goes outside. The trees are only trees. This is a curse. This is a blessing. She breathes deep.

Peter was the only one who understood as well as she did what it was to be the rock of other people’s worlds. She remembers Edmund every time rage swells in her stomach, every time she swallows that rage down and listens anyway.

On early mornings Susan rolls out of bed, all groans and grumbles, and scribbles down a thought or two about her latest article if anything percolated during the night. She does her make-up on her apartment’s little balcony. Susan watches the rising sun light the sky and dares her life to be anything other than hers. 

Companion to this post. 

(Source: ifallelseperished, via poorshadowspaintedqueens)

@9 hours ago with 3178 notes
jessehimself:

Autum Ashante was accepted into the University of Connecticut at age 13.
Stephen R. Stafford II entered Morehouse College at the age 11 with three majors. 
Tony Hansberry II at age 14 developed a time reducing method for hysterectomies at Shands Hospital 
Honor them by sharing this post.

jessehimself:


Autum Ashante was accepted into the University of Connecticut at age 13.


Stephen R. Stafford II entered Morehouse College at the age 11 with three majors. 


Tony Hansberry II at age 14 developed a time reducing method for hysterectomies at Shands Hospital 

Honor them by sharing this post.

(Source: rare-ethnic-images-and-truth, via shoutyourporpoise)

@9 hours ago with 30704 notes

skull-bearer:

thehttydblog:

jackthevulture:

Imagine Hagrid going to Berk.

Imagine it.

Bearded men the same size as him.

Dragons of every shape and size.

IMAGINE HAGRID ON BERK.

Your a Viking Hagrid.

And he has magic, something no one else has. In the Wizarding World he has to hide what he can do, is derided for never being good enough. But here…

@9 hours ago with 829 notes
thefaultinourserenity:

A Reddit user going by the handle “european_douchebag” posted a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with the caption “i’m not sure what to conclude from this.” The user’s apparent confusion stems from the fact that the woman—bound by her religion not to cut her hair or alter her body—has an abundance of dark, untrimmed facial hair. The mind of european_douchebag was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN by the fact that women have hair on their bodies—and, yes, faces—and that some women are bold, self-assured, and pious enough not to cave to western beauty standards (and gender expectations), there was nothing for him to do but post her photo online and wait for the abuse to flood in.
But then something totally lovely and unexpected happened. The woman in the photo responded:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-) So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. :) I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

And then, THEN, something even more miraculous happened—the original poster apologized:

I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.
/r/Funny wasn’t the proper place to post this. Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn’t be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit’s been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we’ve done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I’m sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn’t 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It’s fucking reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.
I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.
So reddit I’m sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity. Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life. Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.

Holy shit, internet, I don’t even know you anymore! I never thought something would come out of the seeping necrotic abscess that is Reddit that would actually make my day better, but wow. MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES THIS DAY.
((CREDIT: HERE))

thefaultinourserenity:

A Reddit user going by the handle “european_douchebag” posted a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with the caption “i’m not sure what to conclude from this.” The user’s apparent confusion stems from the fact that the woman—bound by her religion not to cut her hair or alter her body—has an abundance of dark, untrimmed facial hair. The mind of european_douchebag was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN by the fact that women have hair on their bodies—and, yes, faces—and that some women are bold, self-assured, and pious enough not to cave to western beauty standards (and gender expectations), there was nothing for him to do but post her photo online and wait for the abuse to flood in.

But then something totally lovely and unexpected happened. The woman in the photo responded:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-) So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. :) I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

And then, THEN, something even more miraculous happened—the original poster apologized:

I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.

/r/Funny wasn’t the proper place to post this. Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn’t be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit’s been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we’ve done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I’m sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn’t 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It’s fucking reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.

I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.

So reddit I’m sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity.
Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am
Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life.
Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.

Holy shit, internet, I don’t even know you anymore! I never thought something would come out of the seeping necrotic abscess that is Reddit that would actually make my day better, but wow. MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES THIS DAY.

((CREDIT: HERE))

(via booksandcatslover)

@9 hours ago with 43982 notes

 I wish to hell that the show wasn’t perpetuating the fanon that “witches” were burned in Salem. So many people believe that, and it never happened. Weren’t hanging and being pressed to death between stones horrible enough?

(Source: witchesarereal)

@10 hours ago with 5444 notes
#salem #salem witch trials #the cw 

(Source: mcnallykids, via dduane)

@1 day ago with 579 notes
bookshop:


In Defense of Sansa Stark
Sansa Stark must be one of the most hated characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. The vitriol levelled against her is often frightening in its intensity, surpassing that for actually horrific characters like Joffrey and Ramsey Bolton. Her crime? The unforgivable fact that she is a pre-teen girl.
As a massive fan of Sansa, even I must admit that she is difficult to like at first. She’s spoilt and a bit bratty. She fights with her fan-favorite sister and trusts characters who the reader knows are completely untrustworthy. She is hopelessly naive and lost in dreams of pretty princes and dashing knights. She acts, for all intents and purposes, like the eleven year old girl that she is. Most of us were pretty darn unbearable to older people at that age (and that’s fine, because they were also pretty unbearable to us). Robb and Jon, although older than Sansa, are similarly misguided and bratty, with Jon’s constant “poor me, I deserve so much more” attitude at the Wall, and Robb’s clumsy attempts at being the Lord of Winterfell. But these mistakes are only reprehensible to readers when they come from a girl, interested in girly things and making girly mistakes. Because viewers have been taught that “girly“ is automatically bad.
I love bad-ass, sword-wielding heroines as much as the next person (Arya and Brienne are two of my other favorite characters in anything ever), but the focus on this sort of female character — the oft-cited “strong female character” — seems to suggest that femininity is still bad, and that women can only be strong by adopting stereotypically male roles and attitudes. There’s nothing wrong with Arya declaring that being a Lady does not suit her and forging her own path, but saying that all female characters must take this attitude is as sexist and dismissive as saying that all female characters must be weak and take a backseat in events. Femininity is not bad, just as masculinity is not necessarily good.
Sansa plays an important role in the narrative, because she shows how societal expectations of women completely screw them over. She believes in everything that her parents and her septa have taught her. She believes in stories, and she believes that the greatest thing she can do is marry the prince (who will, of course, be chivalrous and honorable and handsome and kind) and have his children. She has spent her life in the cold castle of the North, dreaming of stories of tournaments and beauty in the south. Because people want her to be that way. That is how they think the ideal young woman should be. And it almost destroys her. Worse, it brings the reader’s hatred down on her, because even though women are told they are only “good” if they fit into this role, the role itself is seen as weak, manipulative, stupid and generally inferior. It is the Catch 22 of being a woman, both in Westeros and in our own world: no matter what you do, you are criticized, especially if you don’t act like Arya Stark and fight to become “one of the boys.” And so some “fans” of the series declare that they wish Sansa would get raped, a woman’s punishment for daring to act how she has been taught. For daring to act feminine, and making mistakes while doing so.
And all this hatred misses the fact that Sansa is one of the strongest individuals in the entire series. In a world where people drop like flies, in an abusive situation that would break so many people, Sansa survives. Sansa endures. She stays strong, and she never gives up.  As Brienne says to Catelyn, she has a “woman’s courage.” She learns how to play the game. She wears her courtesy for her armor, and she listens, and she adapts, and she keeps her cards close to her chest. She learns how to smile and curtsey and use her words to keep going long after other, older, more experienced players, including her father, are destroyed. But she will not kneel. She will not weaken. She remains strong, and she remains determined, because the North remembers, and her day will come. Her “woman’s courage” keeps her alive and in the game where characters like Arya would not last five minutes.
Most impressive of all, Sansa maintains one key part of her personality that others might dismiss as “weak” or “feminine”: her kindness. She manages to be brave and gentle and caring, despite the trauma she goes through. She shows love and affection to little Robert and to Tommen. She puts herself at risk to save Ser Dontos, using her words and her courtesy to trick Joffrey into doing as she desires. She cares for and calms the people of King’s Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater, despite the fact that she is so young and so inexperienced and few of them have ever done anything to help her. She knows that if she were Queen, she would make the people love her, because she cares about other people, even when her own life is torn apart.
Traditional femininity is not innately inferior. It has its own kind of strength and its own kind of power, and Sansa Stark demonstrates that better than any other character I’ve encountered. She is not fierce or rebellious. She is not ruthless or brutal. But she is strong. She is a survivor. And that should not be dismissed.

i love this essay so much and i’m really glad to have avoided the sansa hate thus far bc i love her and i think her character arc is amazing

bookshop:

In Defense of Sansa Stark

Sansa Stark must be one of the most hated characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. The vitriol levelled against her is often frightening in its intensity, surpassing that for actually horrific characters like Joffrey and Ramsey Bolton. Her crime? The unforgivable fact that she is a pre-teen girl.

As a massive fan of Sansa, even I must admit that she is difficult to like at first. She’s spoilt and a bit bratty. She fights with her fan-favorite sister and trusts characters who the reader knows are completely untrustworthy. She is hopelessly naive and lost in dreams of pretty princes and dashing knights. She acts, for all intents and purposes, like the eleven year old girl that she is. Most of us were pretty darn unbearable to older people at that age (and that’s fine, because they were also pretty unbearable to us). Robb and Jon, although older than Sansa, are similarly misguided and bratty, with Jon’s constant “poor me, I deserve so much more” attitude at the Wall, and Robb’s clumsy attempts at being the Lord of Winterfell. But these mistakes are only reprehensible to readers when they come from a girl, interested in girly things and making girly mistakes. Because viewers have been taught that “girly“ is automatically bad.

I love bad-ass, sword-wielding heroines as much as the next person (Arya and Brienne are two of my other favorite characters in anything ever), but the focus on this sort of female character — the oft-cited “strong female character” — seems to suggest that femininity is still bad, and that women can only be strong by adopting stereotypically male roles and attitudes. There’s nothing wrong with Arya declaring that being a Lady does not suit her and forging her own path, but saying that all female characters must take this attitude is as sexist and dismissive as saying that all female characters must be weak and take a backseat in events. Femininity is not bad, just as masculinity is not necessarily good.

Sansa plays an important role in the narrative, because she shows how societal expectations of women completely screw them over. She believes in everything that her parents and her septa have taught her. She believes in stories, and she believes that the greatest thing she can do is marry the prince (who will, of course, be chivalrous and honorable and handsome and kind) and have his children. She has spent her life in the cold castle of the North, dreaming of stories of tournaments and beauty in the south. Because people want her to be that way. That is how they think the ideal young woman should be. And it almost destroys her. Worse, it brings the reader’s hatred down on her, because even though women are told they are only “good” if they fit into this role, the role itself is seen as weak, manipulative, stupid and generally inferior. It is the Catch 22 of being a woman, both in Westeros and in our own world: no matter what you do, you are criticized, especially if you don’t act like Arya Stark and fight to become “one of the boys.” And so some “fans” of the series declare that they wish Sansa would get raped, a woman’s punishment for daring to act how she has been taught. For daring to act feminine, and making mistakes while doing so.

And all this hatred misses the fact that Sansa is one of the strongest individuals in the entire series. In a world where people drop like flies, in an abusive situation that would break so many people, Sansa survives. Sansa endures. She stays strong, and she never gives up.  As Brienne says to Catelyn, she has a “woman’s courage.” She learns how to play the game. She wears her courtesy for her armor, and she listens, and she adapts, and she keeps her cards close to her chest. She learns how to smile and curtsey and use her words to keep going long after other, older, more experienced players, including her father, are destroyed. But she will not kneel. She will not weaken. She remains strong, and she remains determined, because the North remembers, and her day will come. Her “woman’s courage” keeps her alive and in the game where characters like Arya would not last five minutes.

Most impressive of all, Sansa maintains one key part of her personality that others might dismiss as “weak” or “feminine”: her kindness. She manages to be brave and gentle and caring, despite the trauma she goes through. She shows love and affection to little Robert and to Tommen. She puts herself at risk to save Ser Dontos, using her words and her courtesy to trick Joffrey into doing as she desires. She cares for and calms the people of King’s Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater, despite the fact that she is so young and so inexperienced and few of them have ever done anything to help her. She knows that if she were Queen, she would make the people love her, because she cares about other people, even when her own life is torn apart.

Traditional femininity is not innately inferior. It has its own kind of strength and its own kind of power, and Sansa Stark demonstrates that better than any other character I’ve encountered. She is not fierce or rebellious. She is not ruthless or brutal. But she is strong. She is a survivor. And that should not be dismissed.

i love this essay so much and i’m really glad to have avoided the sansa hate thus far bc i love her and i think her character arc is amazing

(Source: aquanautic, via banicaconchitav3)

@1 day ago with 7863 notes

"

"Teach your sons not to rape"

Neither our sons, nor our daughters rape

Monsters know what they are doing is wrong.

"

Liam, fullblackhabit (via hi-its-meee)

Except we know that isn’t true. Multiple studies have shown that rape education campaigns DO actually work, because consent is not fully taught, explained, or understood in our culture. A shocking number of men will admit to rape as long as you never use the word “rape” to describe their actions. 

(via fandomsandfeminism)

And a shocking number of books and movies and games focus on men “giving women sex they didn’t know they wanted” and on older women “sexually tutoring” young boys.

We’re not taught to think of those things as rape. We’re taught that rape is violent, that it involves dark alleys and strangers, bars and Rohypnol. We’re taught that rape won’t happen if the victim avoids danger.

We’re not told that consent matters and that if someone says no, nothing else should happen. We’re not told that guilting, wheedling, manipulating, or frightening someone into agreeing to have sex are wrong.

(via shoutyourporpoise)

@9 hours ago with 448 notes

ink-splotch:

There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.” - JK Rowling

Can we talk about Susan’s fabulous adventures after Narnia? The ones where she wears nylons and elegant blouses when she wants to, and short skirts and bright lipstick when she wants to, and hiking boots and tough jeans and big men’s plaid shirts when she feels like backpacking out into the mountains and remembering what it was to be lost in a world full of terrific beauty— I know her siblings say she stops talking about it, that Susan walks away from the memories of Narnia, but I don’t think she ever really forgot.

I want to read about Susan finishing out boarding school as a grown queen reigning from a teenaged girl’s body. School bullies and peer pressure from children and teachers who treat you like you’re less than sentient wouldn’t have the same impact. C’mon, Susan of the Horn, Susan who bested the DLF at archery, and rode a lion, and won wars, sitting in a school uniform with her eyebrows rising higher and higher as some old goon at the front of the room slams his fist on the lectern. 

Susan living through WW2, huddling with her siblings, a young adult (again), a fighting queen and champion marksman kept from the action, until she finally storms out against screaming parents’ wishes and volunteers as a nurse on the front. She keeps a knife or two hidden under her clothes because when it comes down to it, they called her Gentle, but sometimes loving means fighting for what you care for. 

She’ll apply to a women’s college on the East Coast, because she fell in love with America when her parents took her there before the war. She goes in majoring in Literature (her ability to decipher High Diction in historical texts is uncanny), but checks out every book she can on history, philosophy, political science. She sneaks into the boys’ school across town and borrows their books too. She was once responsible for a kingdom, roads and taxes and widows and crops and war. She grew from child to woman with that mantle of duty wrapped around her shoulders. Now, tossed here on this mundane land, forever forbidden from her true kingdom, Susan finds that she can give up Narnia but she cannot give up that responsibility. She looks around and thinks I could do this better.

I want Susan sneaking out to drink at pubs with the girls, her friends giggling at the boys checking them out from across the way, until Susan walks over (with her nylons, with her lipstick, with her sovereignty written out in whatever language she damn well pleases) and beats them all at pool. Susan studying for tests and bemoaning Aristotle and trading a boy with freckles all over his nose shooting lessons so that he will teach her calculus. Susan kissing boys and writing home to Lucy and kissing girls and helping smuggle birth control to the ladies in her dorm because Susan Pevensie is a queen and she understands the right of a woman to rule over her own body. 

Susan losing them all to a train crash, Edmund and Peter and Lucy, Jill and Eustace, and Lucy and Lucy and Lucy, who Susan’s always felt the most responsible for. Because this is a girl who breathes responsibility, the little mother to her three siblings until a wardrobe whisked them away and she became High Queen to a whole land, ruled it for more than a decade, then came back centuries later as a legend. What it must do to you, to be a legend in the body of a young girl, to have that weight on your shoulders and have a lion tell you that you have to let it go. What it must do to you, to be left alone to decide whether to bury your family in separate ceremonies, or all at once, the same way they died, all at once and without you. What it must do to you, to stand there in black, with your nylons, and your lipstick, and feel responsible for these people who you will never be able to explain yourself to and who you can never save. 

Maybe she dreams sometimes they made it back to Narnia after all. Peter is a king again. Lucy walks with Aslan and all the dryads dance. Maybe Susan dreams that she went with them— the train jerks, a bright light, a roar calling you home. 

Maybe she doesn’t. 

Susan grows older and grows up. Sometimes she hears Lucy’s horrified voice in her head, “Nylons? Lipstick, Susan? Who wants to grow up?”  and Susan thinks, “Well you never did, Luce.” Susan finishes her degree, stays in America (England looks too much like Narnia, too much like her siblings, and too little, all at once). She starts writing for the local paper under the pseudonym Frank Tumnus, because she wants to write about politics and social policy and be listened to, because the name would have made Edmund laugh. 

She writes as Susan Pevensie, too, about nylons and lipstick, how to give a winning smiles and throw parties, because she knows there is a kind of power there and she respects it. She won wars with war sometimes, in Narnia, but sometimes she stopped them before they began.

Peter had always looked disapprovingly on the care with which Susan applied her makeup back home in England, called it vanity. And even then, Susan would smile at him, say “I use what weapons I have at hand,” and not explain any more than that. The boy ruled at her side for more than a decade. He should know better. 

Vain is not the proper word. This is about power. But maybe Peter wouldn’t have liked the word “ambition” any more than “vanity.”

Susan is a young woman in the 50s and 60s. Frank Tumnus has quite the following now. He’s written a few books, controversial, incendiary. Susan gets wrapped up in the civil rights movement, because of course she would. It’s not her first war. All the same, she almost misses the White Witch. Greed is a cleaner villain than senseless hate. She gets on the Freedom Rider bus, mails Mr. Tumnus articles back home whenever there’s a chance, those rare occasions they’re not locked up or immediately threatened. She is older now than she ever was in Narnia. Susan dreams about Telemarines killing fauns. 

Time rolls on. Maybe she falls in love with a young activist or an old cynic. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe Frank Tumnus, controversial in the moment, brilliant in retrospect, gets offered an honorary title from a prestigious university. She declines and publishes an editorial revealing her identity. Her paper fires her. Three others mail her job offers. 

When Vietnam rolls around, she protests in the streets. Susan understands the costs of war. She has lived through not just the brutal wars of one life, but two. 

Maybe she has children now. Maybe she tells them stories about a magical place and a magical lion, the stories Lucy and Edmund brought home about how if you sail long enough you reach the place where the seas fall off the edge of the world. But maybe she tells them about Cinderella instead, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, except Rapunzel cuts off her own hair and uses it to climb down the tower and escape. The damsel uses what tools she has at hand. 

A lion told her to walk away, and she did. He forbade her magic, he forbade her her own kingdom, so she made her own. 

Susan Pevensie did not lose faith. She found it. 

-

Companion to this piece

(Source: ifallelseperished)

@9 hours ago with 56243 notes

"It is not that Tolkien seems to have ‘believed in’ elves exactly, in the sense that Peter Pan means when he asks us to clap our hands. It is more that he seems to have loved the idea of them so much that he wanted to talk about them all the time, as if by talking about them, he could almost bring them into existence. Like a teenager with a crush on someone, like a sentimentalist with a grand ideal."

@9 hours ago with 205 notes

quasigeostrophy:

rockcandymelted:

tobefitforme:

im allergic to penicillin
this is me every time i go to the doctor.
she forgets everytime.

gotta love your nurses, people.

I think there’s a Facebook group that made t-shirts along the lines of “Be kind to nurses. They keep doctors from killing you.” My mom was a nurse for over 40 years.

(Source: sandandglass, via atalantapendrag)

@9 hours ago with 219690 notes
anarcho-queer:

Women Prisoners Sterilized To Cut Welfare Cost In California
In California, prison doctors have sterilized at least 148 women, mainly Mexicans, from 2006 to 2010. Why? They don’t want to have to provide welfare funding for any children they may have in the future and to eliminate ‘defectives’ from the gene pool.
The sterilization procedures cost California taxpayers $147,460 between 1997 and 2010. The doctors at the prison argue it is money well-spent.
Dr. James Heinrich, an OB-GYN at Valley State Prison for Women, said, “Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.”
In 1909, California passed the country’s third sterilization law, authorizing reproductive surgeries of patients committed to state institutions for the “feebleminded” and “insane” that were deemed suffering from a “mental disease which may have been inherited and is likely to be transmitted to descendants.” Based on this eugenic logic, 20,000 patients in more than ten institutions were sterilized in California from 1909 to 1979. Worried about charges of “cruel and unusual punishment,” legislators attached significant provisions to sterilization in state prisons. Despite these restrictions, about 600 men received vasectomies at San Quentin in the 1930s when the superintendent flaunted the law.
Moreover, there was a discernible racial bias in the state’s sterilization and eugenics programs. Preliminary research on a subset of 15,000 sterilization orders in institutions (conducted by Stern and Natalie Lira) suggests that Spanish-surnamed patients, predominantly of Mexican origin, were sterilized at rates ranging from 20 to 30 percent from 1922 to 1952, far surpassing their proportion of the general population.
In her recent book, Miroslava Chávez-García shows, through exhaustively researched stories of youth of color who were institutionalized in state reformatories, and sometimes subsequently sterilized, how eugenic racism harmed California’s youngest generation in patterns all too reminiscent of detention and incarceration today. California was the most zealous sterilizer, carrying out one-third of the approximately 60,000 operations performed in the 32 states that passed eugenic sterilization laws from 1907 to 1937.
Although such procedures may seem harsh, they are not illegal. The Supreme Court ruled in 1927 that women can be forcibly sterilized in jail in Buck vs Bell. Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Credit

anarcho-queer:

Women Prisoners Sterilized To Cut Welfare Cost In California

In California, prison doctors have sterilized at least 148 women, mainly Mexicans, from 2006 to 2010. Why? They don’t want to have to provide welfare funding for any children they may have in the future and to eliminate ‘defectives’ from the gene pool.

The sterilization procedures cost California taxpayers $147,460 between 1997 and 2010. The doctors at the prison argue it is money well-spent.

Dr. James Heinrich, an OB-GYN at Valley State Prison for Women, said, “Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.

In 1909, California passed the country’s third sterilization law, authorizing reproductive surgeries of patients committed to state institutions for the “feebleminded” and “insane” that were deemed suffering from a “mental disease which may have been inherited and is likely to be transmitted to descendants.” Based on this eugenic logic, 20,000 patients in more than ten institutions were sterilized in California from 1909 to 1979. Worried about charges of “cruel and unusual punishment,” legislators attached significant provisions to sterilization in state prisons. Despite these restrictions, about 600 men received vasectomies at San Quentin in the 1930s when the superintendent flaunted the law.

Moreover, there was a discernible racial bias in the state’s sterilization and eugenics programs. Preliminary research on a subset of 15,000 sterilization orders in institutions (conducted by Stern and Natalie Lira) suggests that Spanish-surnamed patients, predominantly of Mexican origin, were sterilized at rates ranging from 20 to 30 percent from 1922 to 1952, far surpassing their proportion of the general population.

In her recent book, Miroslava Chávez-García shows, through exhaustively researched stories of youth of color who were institutionalized in state reformatories, and sometimes subsequently sterilized, how eugenic racism harmed California’s youngest generation in patterns all too reminiscent of detention and incarceration today.

California was the most zealous sterilizer, carrying out one-third of the approximately 60,000 operations performed in the 32 states that passed eugenic sterilization laws from 1907 to 1937.

Although such procedures may seem harsh, they are not illegal. The Supreme Court ruled in 1927 that women can be forcibly sterilized in jail in Buck vs Bell. Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

Credit

(via atalantapendrag)

@9 hours ago with 3966 notes
xkcds:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.
Free Speech

xkcds:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

Free Speech

(via mumblingsage)

@23 hours ago with 2430 notes

Doing a test

dragonista:

Reblog this if you would buy a book with an LGBTQ main character, whose sexuality was not the primary focus of the novel

If you would not, reblog this.

(via cynicalrunes)

@1 day ago with 44179 notes