this is not my heart

39,451 notes

If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”

And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.

And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.

It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.

The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.

As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.

Junot Diaz speaking at Word Up Bookshop, 2012 (via clambistro)

Once at a festival I went to a discussion panel with sci-fi writers and someone asked them how they would write a pregnant character. 

And all three of the male panellists said that they couldn’t, because they literally couldn’t even begin to put themselves in the position of being pregnant. 

These are sci-fi writers. They make their living writing about space lizards from Mars, or alien invasions, or futuristic dystopia where everyone breathes through their fingers or whatever

Their entire function is to write unimaginable, crazy, out-there stuff. That is the whole point of their existence. And they couldn’t even try to imagine what it would be like to be pregnant. It’s seen as this inherently and totally mysterious female thing, that no man can ever even think of representing, even though as men they write things that none of them have ever or will ever experience. 

It made me realise - In the world of sci-fi fiction, alien experiences are more human than women’s experiences. 

(via reasonsforfeminism)

(Source: ofgrammatology, via spiralstreesandcupsoftea)

155,624 notes

diseonfire:

thepfa:

nohetero:

scottthepilgrim:

which fucking fedora wearing friendzoned nerd made this thing

yeah but notice that the seal’s intent is to eat those fish and the shark offers a mutually beneficial relationship for them
in which a dudebro unintentionally makes a really accurate analogy for the reason that they’re single forever

That’s a whale shark. They’re docile and in no way threatening to people or those fish depicted. Seals, by contrast, will attack people, possibly out of a frustrated sense of entitlement combined with poor socialization skills.

Well that backfired spectacularly.

diseonfire:

thepfa:

nohetero:

scottthepilgrim:

which fucking fedora wearing friendzoned nerd made this thing

yeah but notice that the seal’s intent is to eat those fish and the shark offers a mutually beneficial relationship for them

in which a dudebro unintentionally makes a really accurate analogy for the reason that they’re single forever

That’s a whale shark. They’re docile and in no way threatening to people or those fish depicted. Seals, by contrast, will attack people, possibly out of a frustrated sense of entitlement combined with poor socialization skills.

Well that backfired spectacularly.

(via wilwheaton)

8 notes

ifshehadwings:

So I told my brother I started anti-depressants. And he was all “just so you know how hard it is to get off them.” And I just did not say that if they work I DON’T WANT to get off them. I’ve only just started to see a moderate improvement and even that is so dramatic for my life that I can’t even describe it. I would happily continue to feel NOT HORRIBLE for the rest of my life thanks. 

Of course, I haven’t even considered telling my parents I’m on them. And I won’t. Ever. They thought it was a bad idea to go to counseling. There’s no way I’m telling them about any chemical intervention. 

It’s actually not hard to get off them at all.  If you stop them cold turkey, you can definitely get some weirdo physical side effects (the best I can describe it is the occasional sensation of an electric shock without any pain, but ymmv), but any time I’ve tapered down off an antidepressant (usually in the process of switching to something else) following my doctor’s advice, it’s been easy-peasy.  They’re not addictive, after all, you just want to take them because you know you feel like only half a person when you don’t.  For as much as my family can drive me insane, I’m thankful that they’re all very supportive and aware of the reality of depression as a physical ailment.

The first time I went on antidepressants, it took me a couple of weeks of minimal to moderate improvement before I woke up one morning and they were working and all the bullshit was lifted away and I could just breathe and be myself and exist as a normal person with normal ups and downs.  It was, honestly, one of the happiest moments of my life, realizing that I could just function, because I never really had before.  I’m so happy that you’re experiencing the same sort of thing because being not depressed is an amazing gift.