“I recently went to Comic-Con in London, I was invited without the white male counterpart of my cast. And it was packed. They knew it was just gonna be me. So that shook me. I went back to the green room and I was like… I’ve always been told, and I believed, that this doesn’t work without him.” (x)

Fandom, after all, is born of a balance between fascination and frustration: if media content didn’t fascinate us, there would be no desire to engage with it; but if it didn’t frustrate us on some level, there would be no drive to rewrite or remake it.
— Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 2006. (via bigbangthesis)


It just presents women who are strong, women who are smart, and women who are taking action. The women of Grimm kick ass. - Claire Coffee

cruzlovesmovies said: I'm curious about your negative review about Magic in the moonlight. You make some valid critiques (I disagree with them, but you're of course entitled to your opinion). Two things however stood out as not making a whole lot of valid sense. 1- You point out the age difference between the leads, yet it's still a smaller age difference than that between couples in many classic films like Sabrina. 2- You point out what a dick Stanley, which begs the question of have you ever seen My Fair Lady?



this is kind of a weird message to get, especially after your kinda snarky reblog of my (untagged!!!) post I made after watching the movie, but okay, I’ll answer, since this ask is fairly polite.

1. I am extremely, extremely not into massive age differences in media. They have become, at this point, something of a running gag in Woody Allen movies, especially as he gets older and the leading women remain stubbornly in their early twenties. The younger the woman is, the more uncomfortable I feel. This is my prerogative, as a woman, in a world where we are commodified and taught that our needs are second to the men around us, and that to be viewed as attractive by a man is one of our highest goals in life, and the sexualization of and objectification of women is happening earlier and earlier in their adolescence and young girls are being groomed by media to think that it is all right if men as old as their fathers and grandfathers project their sexual desires on to them. I am uncomfortable with it. I find it personally triggering and discomforting to watch. The younger the female in the relationship is and the older the male in the relationship is, the more I am uncomfortable with it. There are multiple movies and television shows that I am uncomfortable with for precisely this reason, and shows that if they show these kinds of relationships I would stop watching, even if they are my favorites. Re: Sabrina, these kinds of things were shown more frequently in older films, and with rising social awareness I expect better of current media than their predecessors. Now, Emma Stone is in her mid-twenties and presumably her character is the same, so it is not quite as terrible and upsetting as if her character were- say- eighteen, which would leave me feeling ill and disquieted by the choice to portray such a relationship as healthy- but Colin Firth, while handsome, is almost sixty. A near-thirty year age gap is far too much for me, personally, to feel comfortable with, especially given Emma Stone’s youth and her appeal to a teen audience. When that is factored in with Woody Allen’s extremely uncomfortable personal history when it comes to younger girls, I think being put off by the age difference is more than reasonable when critical thinking is applied.

2. In My Fair Lady, Henry Higgins is an asshole, but he is also in a superior script, goes through a well-articulated transformation, and is able to exhibit actual affection to the female lead; whereas in Magic in the Moonlight, Colin Firth’s character’s supposed feelings for Emma Stone’s character keep fluctuating back and forth wildly in what I felt was a completely unsubstantiated way that was poorly illustrated by the script, poorly supported by the reasoning, acted to the best of his ability which is very good but ultimately was in a piece of crap movie. In the end, when he is standing there trying desperately to get her to choose him, and he is continuing to be an asshole, you are left wondering why on EARTH she would, because he has made absolutely no strides as a character and learned absolutely nothing. tl;dr My Fair Lady is BETTER, therefor Henry Higgins is a better asshole than Stanley is, because Henry Higgins is the kind of asshole you are rooting for and Stanley is the british version of every other Woody Allen stand-in character he has ever written.

3. In your reblog you had at me for having made up my mind to hate a Woody Allen movie before I went. Yes. I cannot fuckin’ stand Woody Allen. He grosses me out. I don’t want to support his films financially. I don’t want Hollywood to continue to support his films financially, and I don’t want people to continue to pretend he’s a genius when films like this that were rushed and unthought, and had the musical direction of a two year old with a “Stock Music: The 1920’s!” CD, are the kind of thing he’s delivering; and to act like those deliveries make up in any way for the things he’s done in his personal life.

But if it makes any difference to you, I’m capable of admitting that I really liked his older films, and my mother is the one who wanted to go see this movie, that she likes Woody Allen’s films generally.

And SHE left thinking that movie was a piece of absolute shit, the age difference was jarring and gross as fuck, the script was wooden and rushed and unfeeling, the music was craptastic, and there was no reason to root for or care about any of these characters, and it was one of the worst things she’d spent money on in recent history and utterly meaningless.

So like, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right?

But mine was untagged and in my own blog sooooooo the end.

I am not saying you’re not allowed to dislike May/December romances. I’m pointing out how Allen is hardly the first person to feature such a thing in a movie. It’s been in classics…. that was my point. If you dislike this, you have to dislike those, and it seems like you do, so that’s fair.

As for the age difference being gross, by that logic, Bogart and Bacall was a disgusting pairing… and yet they’re widely considered the most iconic Hollywood couple ever. Also worth mentioning: Johnny Depp is 25 years older than his fiance. Michael Douglas is 25 years older than Catherine Zeta-Jones. Bradley Cooper is nearly 20 years older than Suki Waterhouse.

I just find it sad that some people such as yourself feel the need to dictate which 2 consenting adults are allowed to be together. I admit i was lot like that when I was younger, but then i traveled around the world and actually experienced life. That let me on to the fact that I shouldn’t judge May/December couples that i see in real life as long as they’re in love. But if you want to be judgmental, i can’t stop you.

You’re being incredibly patronizing to me. I don’t know how much older than me you think I am, but I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. Your entire blog is nothing but repeated reblogs of people who disagree with you about this movie though, so that’s kinda saying something.

In real life, there are multiple factors when it comes to relationships with large age difference. Things like actual, real, human feelings have to be considered. That doesn’t mean that they’re all okay, but generally IRL I consider that there are more factors involved and keep my personal taste and judgement to myself. The older and the more powerful the woman in the relationship is, the less it bothers me, because the less of a social imbalance there is between the players.

In media, though, we are not dealing with real human feelings. We are dealing with editorial and directorial decisions. These are not real people, with emotions beyond our control- these are executive decisions to portray relationships that are significantly imbalanced. Relationships that you continue to stubbornly romanticize as “May/December romances” instead of conceding that he is old enough to be her father.

I’m pointing out (as you keep insisting you’re doing, like I missed your point- no, I got it, trust me!) that there is a tie-in between the media OK on relationships between older men and young women (especially women in their late teens and early twenties) and the social trend of the sexualization of adolescent girls in American culture. You cannot consistently deny that media has an impact on public opinion, consciously and subconsciously, and for FUCK’S sakes, this movie was made by WOODY FUCKING ALLEN, why the hell are you choosing THIS movie as the one to defend age gaps? This is NOT the person to argue that these are beautiful freaking relationships on, holy shit. This is, if anything, the movie and the writer to PROVE that media representation of extremely young women with much older men is an unhealthy trend that affirms gross adult men who should know better than to project their sexual desires onto girls who are much less powerful than they are. This is the movie that pretty much confirms that the people making movies about your so-called May/December romances are the people who are into adolescent girls IRL and that promoting these things in media promotes them in real life.

I discourage that. That’s the end of the fuckin’ conversation, bro. I don’t understand why you’re continuing to have it, I’m not interested in the discussion.

PPS- I’m a queer woman, hi, do not talk to me about judgment and discrimination against what consenting adults can do. I’m criticizing media representation of imbalanced social relationships, I’m not arresting and beating to death people who hold hands in public with someone of the same gender. Watch it.

Reblogged from Untitled

so many characters on Grimm are so much more than you would ever think of them, but ESPECIALLY the women.

the women of Grimm are triumphs. they’re lovers and fighters. they are unrepentantly themselves, and never wholly evil or wholly good. they are selfish and they are selfless and they have their own storylines and their own motivations and their own LIVES.

Rosalee and ADALIND and Kelly and Trubel and Juliette

like I can’t decide I can’t- they’re—- I don’t have the time to write about how much GRATITUDE I have for the writers of Grimm giving each of those women listed above the story and the reality that they deserve.

I could write an essay about each of them.

Do you want to see a show where your women are treated right by the narrative? Where the female characters are more than props for the male character’s development, where they are powerful and complex women with jobs and lives, with issues and hearts; where they are antiheroes and they are lovers and they are professionals, where they are violent and they are villains and they tear cities and people apart, where they are young and they are old and they are whole people regardless?

Then you need to be fucking watching Grimm.

blazestuck said: So I hear you say that nearly every muscular man in media is a male power fantasy so I have been meaning to ask what is a woman power fantasy. I mean what criteria have to be met for a power fantasy for women since for a man the criteria is to be fit and attractive to look as said from your post here that Dolph Lundgren Ax here and Conan. I mean can't a woman who is attractive and so skilled she can kill enemies without armor be a fantasy for women as well.


Wow, that’s some fundamentally loaded question…

The premise of asking for ultimate criteria of gendered power fantasy is kinda flawed… First, there are VERY different facets of indulging in the male fantasy. Let’s make it clear: strong, overly-muscular men aren’t the only representation of male power fantasy, they’re just the most obvious one, cause they’re extending the stereotype of maleness to ridiculous degrees. They appeal to the deep-rooted societal notion that male = stronger, that’s why to make the character seem powerful the designers exaggerate the “manly” aspects of the him.

But when it comes to female characters, it gets complicated.
The thing is, our culture tends to view things almost exclusively from the (straight) male point of view. Men try to extrapolate their own experiences onto us and assume that how they feel is how we feel. That’s why conventional female “power fantasy” either emulates the male one (butch warrior woman) or (more often) assumes that female power comes from controlling sexual availability to men. That’s where the sexy femme fatale warrior stereotype comes from. Men imagine that the only area where women can be in total control is sex.

Going back to the male power fantasy, it’s important to realize how Buff Warrior Dude type basically comes down to eliminating the fear of ever being threatened by other men. Notice how Sexy Warrior Babe type, instead of eliminating the fear women have (of being overpowered, assaulted etc.), feeds onto the fear men have (of being rejected and/or sexually controlled by women). That’s why villainesses are very likely to be portrayed in most sexual characters.
This disingenuous female power archetype is the result of filtering everything through male perspective.

To create a genuine power fantasy, female point of view must be applied and male one must be deconstructed. We can’t latch onto the simplistic and hurtful notion that associates maleness with strength and femaleness with weakness.
I touched upon this recently, but the genre of magical girl narrative is one of the basic deconstructions of that: the powers, weapons and outfits of the heroines are usually designed to be as girly as possible, so that monsters are defeated not with the male-coded brute strength, but with sparkly magic beams from pink, heart-shaped rods and jewelry. Things associated with the “weak” part of femaleness stereotype become the source of their power.

That said, it does not mean that no female character ever can find their strength in being butch or sexual. Just that those female power stereotypes (especially the sexual one) have so far been framed in how men see them and thus, problematic.
Also, Sexy Warrior Babe type of character is vastly overused, so it’s really hard to to make it work without looking like you’re playing it straight. That’s one of the reasons this blog exists.

Big thanks to our dear friend ami-angelwings for helping me to put our collective female perspective on the subject to words.


(Disclaimer: wincenworks is a cishet male so can only give information from observation and received from women who have spoken about the issue)

Firstly, the story of a character who is so badass that they can run into fights with no protection and be assured of a victory without injury is a pretty boring story.  There’s no tension or drama if the outcome is pre-ordained - even less so if it’s only pre-ordained to justify a costuming decision.

Secondly, the buff barbarian look isn’t about selling men a fantasy of being fit and attractive (Conan is traditionally not a pretty man, he often gets injured and he’s not above wearing armor) - it’s about recognized as physically powerful and coded as a great warrior and one who is above caring what regular think of them. Howard wrote about the appeal of this aspect at length in letters and at least one artist has already explored what Red Sonja might look like if she was given the same visual coding Conan is.

Bikini armor on fictional women doesn’t project this, because after decades of it’s being used for senseless titilation, for Ms Male Characters and damsels who are to be rescued by manly men.  They’re not designed with the intention of anything done, or having other primary traits other than “sexy” by Male Gaze standards.

This leads to (in case you missed it, at the top of the post you’re replying to):


See female power fantasy characters are meant to reflect female fantasies and it turns out women are people.  So their fantasies tend to be more complicated than “look sexy to the assumed straight male audience and be do something badass to justify my position as ‘strong’ character”.  

Thus a female character is more likely to read as a female power fantasy characters if she looks more like:

Than Tyris FlareFran or Shia.

That said, many characters who are wearing outfits that are not particularly power fantasy inducing have become female power fantasies to certain groups of women via particular traits, their personalities and their stories.


None of these function on the half-arsed justification of “I mean can’t a woman who is attractive and so skilled she can kill enemies without armor be a fantasy for women as well."  They tend to be things more like "I’d like to treated with respect regardless of my body or how I dress, be feared by tough guys and able to smack them down if they threaten me."

Most women, in my experience, are not really that adverse to the idea of having or wearing awesome armor which is why our “positive examples" posts tend to get lots of love and we get awesome asks like this one from yondamoegi :


So in summary, the primary flaw with your argument is that women shouldn’t be expected to be for men’s benefit.  The secondary flaw is that women actually aren’t expected to wear armor more than they are bikinis so have no reason to wish they could be free of armor.

- wincenworks