The brilliant camharr and I were having a conversation about Lois McMaster Bujold’s work, and she said something so resonant and on-point I had to share it (hopefully she’ll find time to blog her own thoughts about it at some point). In an interview, Bujold makes a great point about how non-universal Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” actually is (Campbell apparently knew squat about women’s lives and made the typical male academic mistake of assuming that men’s experience is human experience full stop; we’ll leave aside for now all the other reasons the monomyth is crap). In the hero’s journey, the hero goes out into the world, does some stuff, and comes back home. But Bujold points out that given the exogamous nature of most cultures, the heroine goes out into the world, and keeps going. 

And then Cameron gave the most succinct and lovely summation of a heroine’s journey archetype I’ve heard yet:

Woman loses everything she thinks she needs, discovers her own power, and builds a family who will fight with her to the bitter end.”

Reminds me of a great article I read once about Buffy (and yes, Buffy had its problems, and yes, there are a lot of issues with Joss Whedon’s takes on female heroes, BUT). It pointed out the whole archetype of the hero as lone gunslinger, who protects the community but cannot be part of it, and who must ultimately go it alone to retain his heroic status, and described how Buffy subverts this. Spike articulates it when he notes that Buffy is different — stronger and more resilient — than other Slayers because she has a team around her, and it’s when she tries to go it alone that she (and, I think, the show) falls short. Buffy ultimately embodies a different sort of heroic archetype, one that certainly isn’t exclusively feminine, but I think speaks to more women’s experiences:

The hero is someone who builds and is the center of the heroic family. 

The family may be blood relatives, it may be teammates or coworkers, it may be a group of friends or a biker gang. But it’s a collection of people that together function in the hero role. 

Art by Howard David Johnson.

Here is the interview Jessica refers to. Spoilers only start in the Q&A portion, halfway down the page.

And I would like to write about the heroine’s journey at some point. Just muddling through my thoughts (and other commitments!) first.

Yes. So much, yes.

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Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virle. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.

Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth  (via thewaking)

Literally the most important thing you will read today.

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I am a historian and this is how it happened.

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The reason women are turning you down for casual sex seems to be that, for one thing, a lot of you are calling them sluts afterward. Also, a lot of you aren’t bothering to try to be good in bed.
Terri Conley, professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan ( link )

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Ghost Friend

Poorly Drawn Lines by Reza Farazmand
[website | tumblr | twitter | facebook]

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and my U.S. History teacher was trying to get us to understand why it was such a big deal that England had put a tax on colonial sugar, and he goes,

"What if you had to pay a tax every time you logged onto wifi?"

And the whole class just went


and I heard at least two people whisper “I would murder someone”

I will keep reblogging this in the name of historical science

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Life with A Toddler

In celebration of Father’s Day, here are some thoughts about the beautiful chaos of having an 18-month-old.

Pretty sure I’m a toddler

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Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain. It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial. What’s more, there’s an interestingly sexist assumption that often gets made about female fashion — namely, that it’s primarily intended to get male attention and male approval.



Disappointing Popsicle Jokes


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Jonah Hill & Morgan Freeman

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Commonly confused medieval weapons, a powerpoint by me.

Now stop screwing them up, seriously, or I will put a medieval weapon in your head.

Tumblr is endearing me to being lectured at in Comic Sans

THIS is a WAR SCYTHE, a scythe actually used in combat. Notice it is not a useless piece of shit and is an actual functional weapon.

The only reason why death is pictured with a FARMING scythe is because he harvests souls.

I guess the only use of comic sans I’m really okay with is being used to treat me like a child. 

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