Pics?

Nov. 16th, 2015 12:03 am
ladydrace: (No Het Merlin)
I just posted this on Tumblr, but then I realized that no one would be able to actually discuss it with me, so I'm posting it here too.

NSFW TEXT AHEAD!

* * *

I suddenly had the thought… if dick pics are so rampant in straight and gay male circles, what about lesbian circles? Are vagina pics a thing? Muff motifs? Pussy pics? Snatch snaps? Clam caps?
ladydrace: (Soulonoscopy)
It seems everyone and their dog is suddenly using AO3 to post their stuff. So far I've been hesitant to start posting there, simply because I am already posting in a million other places, and I can only keep track of so much. But I keep hearing how awesome it is, so now I ask you, my wonderful f-list! Is it worth it?

I have... *counts* something like 120 fics scattered across various fandoms, and to post them all in a new place would be one heck of a job. I already once tried another archive site (Ad Astra) but I found posting complicated and the site wasn't always very user friendly. Plus, it's only for the Trek stuff, and as much as I love my Trek writing, I will always be a multi-fandom writer.

So far I've been using my website as archive for my own convenience, and I will keep doing that in the future. But AO3 has impressed me so far with its easy access and MASSIVE amount of fic, even though it's still fairly new.

So what do you guys think? All opinions welcome!

ladydrace: (Special Agent Castiel)
I have these tiny fics I wrote for... well, my own fun, basically. I haven't posted them because I didn't think they were very good, but maybe someone would like to read them? Please let me know if any of these tickle your fancy:

All of these are in the SPN fandom.

Trials and Tantrums: Kidfic basically. Just an evening in the life of Sam and Dean Winchester, having settled down to take care of Dean's kid. Rated PG or something, not much really happens. Mostly just an excuse to write daddy!Dean and some domestic brotherly co-habitation.

A Thousand Years: Dean/Castiel. Also PG-ish. 900 words. Total and utter pulp romance of the soulmate variety, with a vaguely angsty ending.

Call You Sweetheart: Dean/Castiel. R-ish. 250 or so words of Dean using endearments, and not much else. Schmoooooop.

Untitled: Pre-Dean/Castiel. 500 words. Cas visits a sex shop because he believes in thorough research.

Untitled: Crowley/OMC: Asphyxiation and blood-kink sex. NC-17, 3000-ish words. My RP partner's OC has a thing with Crowley and some dub-con happens. I was told by someone not in the fandom that it was hot, so maybe it's worth a posting.

Untitled: OFC/OMC. NC-17. 2600 words. The RP mentioned above... this one is two of my characters getting it on. Het pwp, a few complicated emotional issues and a little angst, but mostly just porn.

Melt in My Arms: Sam/Gabriel 500-ish words of cuddles.


Like any of them? Lemme know and I'll have them cleaned up for posting. :o)
ladydrace: (Geek Kissing tip 4400 het.)
I've been pondering what I ship. Or rather, what tends to attract me to any sort of ship.

First of all, I'm an avid slasher, so off the bat I'm generally more enthusiastic about the male/male ships. But I think I've finally nailed my major point of attraction to any ship.

Reluctance. Be it clashing of personalities, status, race, breed, culture, whatever. If the parties involved are facing obstacles and yet gravitating towards each other, I'm almost always interested. The characters have to be really unappealing for me to not care at all. Not that I ship everything to the same degree, but my enthusiasm pretty much dies when the ship is all smooth sailing.

Occasionally there are exceptions. The most notable one being Bones/Booth. Not that I was into that fandom a lot, but when the couple became canon I quit. Despite the fact that for all appearances, the ship had anything I needed to love it. They were wildly different characters, both fairly likable, who butted heads frequently but still bonded. They should have appealed to me. But making them a couple pretty much killed the show for me. Bah.

Come to think of it, many of the couples I ship I wouldn't actually like to be canon. The premise of the shows I love aren't normally romance, so my romantic fantasies usually fit much better in fanfic, especially when the ship is between two major characters. (Let's not discuss the pairings that I ship just because they're hot. That's a whole other topic.)

This might make me seem like a bit of a hypocrite to some, but I don't care. My shipping habits are strange and unpredictable, but I have a hell of a lot of fun with them. :)

ladydrace: (Soulonoscopy)
I think I just had kind of an epiphany about my faith. For a long time I've been half convinced that I have no faith, because I doubt everything and don't look to the sky for answers or comfort. I believe in life forces, miracles and the human soul.

But I think I've come to realize, that in some ways I believe in God. Not necessarily God of the Bible, but more like the idea of a larger force, something much greater than us. And since God is the term I've grown up with and my cultural heritage looks to, it's probably also why that name is the one that feels most familiar and most fitting to me.

I suspect that I've been so conflicted about this because people always assume that if you say you believe in God, then they assume you agree with the Bible or that you're a Christian, which I'm not at all sure I am.

I don't live by any sort of scripture. I live by common sense, logic and always try to do my best, without going by any book.

Also, my faith is very personal. I don't feel the need to meet others and discuss my faith, or listen to sermons or in other ways practice in any public way. I don't really pray and the only reason I like to go to church at Christmas is for the tradition and the lovely music. I do feel connected to God in churches, but no more than I do in a blossoming field, or in a sun-dappled clearing in a forest.

I think I've mentioned before that I was told once as a child that "God is in every blade of grass." I'm starting to think that little sentence pretty much defines what I believe. And honestly, I think I need to stop being afraid of offending people or "taking the lord's name in vain" or whatever, just because I define my own faith.

God is an umbrella term, and since it fits my culture, my country, my upbringing and in a very general way my beliefs, I think I can actually say now:

I believe in God.

As a final note, I'd just like to add that during this long period of crisis of faith I've avoided wearing Christian symbols, because I felt vaguely hypocritical. But crosses are beautiful, and while I decide for myself what God means to me, I don't mind others seeing me wearing a symbol of faith and drawing their own conclusions. If people ask, I will gladly clarify, but from now on, I think I won't be half as afraid of what other people might think.


ladydrace: (There's your problem!)
For [livejournal.com profile] kiddywonkus  who actually wanted to know my thoughts on this. It may well be TL;DR for pretty much everybody else.

First of all, a disclaimer. I don't actually know anything about propulsion, advanced mechanics or have even anything more than the most basic understanding of physics. I am not smart in this area, so prepare for some possibly very stupid theories on how Star Trek engines work.

What sparked this post initially was the question of why there didn't seem to be an engineering area on DS9. My simplest theory on this is that since a space station is not actually meant to go very far in any direction, it doesn't need a huge section for propulsion alone like a starship would. I am assuming here that a large part of what goes on in engineering is centered around making the thing "go". I know it has other functions, but perhaps due to size and ship design or even just practicality, I suppose it makes sense to have it all in one place.

DS9 is not only a completely different sort of beast, it's also huuuuuuuge. The Enterprise is just one of at least 6 full-size vessels able to dock simultaneously at any given time. If we ignore design entirely for a moment, it's actually possible that DS9 has not one, but perhaps dozens of engineering sections, all of them easily the same size as the one on the Enterprise, just to produce enough juice to keep the thing floating or whatever. This would not surprise me at all, since it was very clear in the first episode that O'Brien getting the job of Chief Engineer of DS9 was a big step up for him.

DS9 also has a lot of things starships don't. Docking pylons, storage bays the size of a small village, a frickin' strip mall! I have no idea how much energy this stuff would require to keep running, but I imagine it would be a lot. DS9 does have a central core, but it's fairly vague what actually happens there. Does it produce energy? Is it where the big red "off" switch is? Is it merely a junction for all the Jeffrey's Tubes? Nobody really knows. The only thing we really do know is that blowing it up would be bad.

Also, depending on when in the series we are, DS9 has proven capable of:
-Keeping between 2 and 7 thousand people alive and happy at any given time.
-Holding off an entire Klingon fleet.
-Holding off a Dominion fleet (!!)
-Producing effective shielding for an area maybe 50 times the size of the Enterprise.
-Churning out a frankly massive amount of mines to block the wormhole, so one can assume the capacity for production is also fairly huge.

So the sheer amount of power needed is already mindblowing. For practicality, it makes sense not to have it all in one place, so if something should break down it will only affect part of the station. We fairly often hear of the pylons breaking down, so I assume they at least have their own closed systems. I also like to assume that several other systems run independently. Like weapons, transporters and life support. Considering some of the juggling they do with technobabble through the show, this seems highly likely.

The arguments above are pretty much exclusively based on practicality. If we move on to design, there's a whole different level to consider.

DS9 is Cardassian in design. And not only that, it wasn't originally even a space station as such. It was an ore processing plant. It was never built to be a major defensive point, a diplomatic nexus or even to be all that comfortable to live on. It was full of slaves and grudgingly stationed military. (Apart from Dukat, who seemed to love it there.) So the fact that eventually thousands of people seem to live quite happily there is an accomplishment in itself, and it's hardly surprising that the steps taken to keep the thing going, for something that was never its original purpose, would involve some heavy re-designing. If nothing else, O'Brien seems vastly imaginative about how to keep things running. For all we know, the smattering of engineering sections could be mostly just him pulling a Frankenstein to hold everything together and make the Cardassian systems work along with the Federation ones.

Add to that the fact that we don't actually know the logistics of Cardassian engineering, and we're in a completely different ball park. Perhaps whatever makes Cardassian systems go round can't actually be kept in one place for whatever reason. Maybe the placement of the systems was originally just for decorative purposes? We can't deny that there's something artistic about the design overall. There's not a lot of information to back up any of these theories, so really, the sky's the limit with this.



-

ladydrace: (Sexy Dean)
I already poked at this on Tumblr, but I'd like to expand and open this up for debate more, so here we go.

In 99% of the SPN fanfics I see, it seems a given that angels have no gender. As far as I can tell, the basis for this in canon is actually fairly slim.

Arguments for and against sex-less angels, according to my limited memory:

For:
-Raphael and  Castiel using both a male and a female vessel.
-Castiel saying he spent a year as "waves of celestial intent", which presumably means he didn't have a body, and therefore no physical gender.
-Dean repeatedly referring to the angels as "junkless".

Against:
-The fact that Castiel calls a dead angel in a female vessel "sister".
-Castiel mentioning that his true form has a size (of the Chrysler building) and with physical form comes the possibility of gender.
-All the sex we see angels have. (Balthazar, Gabriel, Anna). I go with the statement here that to have sex with a human, you'll probably have to pick a physical gender at least for a while.

If I've missed any arguments, do let me know.

On the subject of Raphael switching the gender of his vessels: I seem to recall Castiel still calling Raphael "brother" so there are a number of theories I can offer on this. (If I indeed remember correctly. If not, ignore this.) Maybe the gender of the vessel is of secondary concern, but perhaps they can still have a preferred physical representation? Most of the angels do seem to pick vessels that reflect their personality or at the very least makes them seem professional and severe. It seems likely that if they do have a preferred gender, that their vessels would mirror it.

On the topic of true form: All we know about it is that Castiel's is the size of a skyscraper and that looking at it is baaaaad for human eyes. It's also suggested that they have wings (with the shadow display of Castiel's and the lightning show Raphael gave us) but that could very well just be an intimidation tactic. As for the "wave of celestial intent", it's never said that this is an angel's true form. For all we know, it could simply be yet another possible representation of their beings. Zachariah also said that in Heaven he has a head of a lion, but again, this could be just one more possible form of many. So what kind of gender-details angels' true form might include is anyone's guess.

Junkless: This is only Dean's term. Nowhere is it stated where he gets this impression from. It could be just him trying to be insulting in his usual way, or I could put on my shipper goggles and wax on about how it's the only way he can make himself feel comfortable about his bond with Castiel. But I digress.

Brothers and Sisters: This one is a pickle, because most of the times it's even mentioned, we only hear of the brothers. And more often than not, the angels are in male vessels. We only see very few females. (Anna, Rachel, the dead sister and possibly Raphael. Did I forget anyone?) But with the exception of Raphael, even the angels themselves follow the patterns of human pronouns. Anna is always referred to as "she" and Castiel is always a "he", even while he's wearing Claire Novak.

Sex: This one is secondary, because it's always possible that whatever sexual inclinations they seem to have is purely borrowed from their vessels. Anna does make it sound like angels have no sexual desire to speak of when in their natural state, however, there is one scene that suggests something different. When Dean asks Castiel if he's a virgin and he replies "I've never had occasion, okay?" That right there opens up a whole can of worms. Because he could easily have said that "angels don't have sex" or "I feel no desire for sexual relations" or something along those lines. Instead, he makes it sound like it's something even angels endeavor to try at least sometimes and he even seems slightly embarrassed that he hasn't had any yet. Although, this could just be Dean's attitude to sex making Castiel uncomfortable. For the purpose of the whorehouse at least, Castiel does play the part of a male. And since we've also seen evidence of a boner, we can only assume that he's also "fully functional". So while angels might be without gender, they are certainly not "sex-less" as such.

All these are valid points, but it still doesn't give us any real clues to what sort of gender identity (if any) angels might have in their true forms.

Thoughts, comments, opposing arguments? Lay it on me!

ladydrace: (Green Pea)
Something has been bothering me lately.

This might be an unpopular opinion, at least in some of the internet circles I frequent. But this in not a set opinion, just me pondering. So feel free to offer other opinions or opposing points of view.

Some of you may remember Storm, the child whose gender was kept secret by its parents? Or maybe Sasha, who was only revealed to be a boy at age 5.

The idea is to give your child choice. And I am all for that. In my own upbringing I was never told by my parents that anything was exclusively for boys or girls. I played with Barbie dolls one moment and cars the next. It wasn't made a big deal out of. I was lucky.

While the idea is commendable, I'm having a really hard time seeing how actually pulling off giving your child a real choice is possible. Can you make a choice that young, while understanding the implications of such a choice at all? Choosing toys or clothes is a fairly simple process and I am 100% behind letting your kid express itself however it wants. But what worries me is that children are little sponges that pick up on even tiny things. Even when you struggle to remain neutral, nobody can ever completely avoid giving off signs of opinion. Every person a child comes into contact with rubs off, however minutely, so unless you keep your kid in a box, you'll never be able to completely avoid being exposed to gender opinions.

The thing is, there are reasons for wanting your child to have the ultimate choice. It could be politics, idealism or just wanting your child to have choices you never had. Now, imagine you were stuffed into frilly dresses your whole childhood, while you would really rather play with trucks... can you say with 100% certainty that watching your son go against the grain, like you never could, and pick out something frilly, or your daughter choosing a truck over a doll won't affect you emotionally? Can you say for sure that you don't heave a little sigh of relief, because your kids seem educated or free enough to choose their preference, rather than what they feel is expected of them?

While this is natural and to be expected, I find it a little naïve to hope that your kids will never pick up on this. Some never do, luckily, but others will. And do you know for sure that your child isn't that super sensitive one, who just wants to make mommy happy, whatever it takes?

Because that takes the choice to another level. The choice is no longer about personal preference, but about what is expected (or hoped for, which is a very difficult concept to separate, especially for small children).

I think what I'm getting at here are self-fulfilling prophecies. Can you say for sure that your child isn't developing in a certain direction because that's what you hoped for?

While it may sound good, it does take the choice away from the kid again. See what I mean?

I understand why you would want to avoid stereotyping. But I also feel that giving no direction at all is equally extreme. Everything is about extremes these days. Girls must be all pink, boys must be all muddy and if you want to avoid that you need to be completely empty of gender. I don't like that. There seems to be no middle ground.

I could never raise my child neutrally. And neither would I really want to. But just because my child is a boy, that doesn't mean I dictate his preferences. I try my best to show him what his options are and educate him on choices that are too big for him to make yet.

I'm pretty sure that parents who raise gender neutral children will reply that "this is exactly what we're doing", but I'm not so sure it's having the effect they're really hoping for. Whatever that might be. Changing the world, maybe? Because if that is the case, I would much prefer they didn't make their kids a political statement. Kids should be kids. Not symbols.

Thoughts, questions, comments? All is welcome.

ladydrace: (Free Hugs)
When I grew up there was an explosion of media attention on the horrors of pedophilia and child molesters. It was taken to such extremes that most adults ended up being so afraid of being accused of anything untoward, that they hardly even dared touch their own kids.

So I've endured more than a few stares on account on kissing my mother, full on the mouth, every day. Quite publicly. Because that's what we've always done. My own son recently discovered the concept of kissing and if my baby boy wants a kiss on the lips, then by god, I am going to give him one. (Complete with snot and drool. Oh well.)

Thing is, the attention on this topic in my everyday life made me aware of the boundaries in family relations on screen. Physical contact is okay. Kisses? Apparently not so much.

Continued under here.  )

ladydrace: (Sexy Dean)
I'm a fangirl. I'm not ashamed to admit it. This means I spend an awful lot of time looking at, reading about and generally flailing with glee over who or what ever catches my fancy. Usually, when it's about a person, it's because I find them physically appealing. Not that I can't also respect their talent, but I won't deny that normally, what makes me aware of a new celebrity crush is their looks.

However, this doesn't mean that I believe them to be any sort of standard for who I hope to get involved with romantically.

Because while it's amazingly fun to speculate, fantasize and joke about the handsome devils decorating my web-haunts, that's ultimately not where I go looking for love and consequently, when I do go looking, different rules apply.

I see so many fellow fans cry and wail over how they will "never find anyone as perfect as [celebrity in question]" and angst endlessly over how they will "end up alone" or similar sentiments. Sometimes I know it's meant as a joke, but way too often I fear it's meant quite seriously. This saddens me.

Do people truly believe that they have to live up to some ridiculous standard to be deserving of love? And while we're on the subject, do all these beautiful people tend to make you forget all the not-so-beautiful yet still fantastically awesome people out there who you could be so very happy with?

Because it goes both ways. Some people apparently look in the mirror and see something repugnant that no one will ever find attractive, but sadly, many of those very same people see the same thing when looking out the window. What happened to liking people for who they are and not what they look like?

Picture this: Prince Charming comes along on his mighty steed, sweeps you off your feet, showers you with love, respects you for who you are, tells you every day that you are beautiful and has every quality you ever admired. Nice, right? Only now I tell you that he weighs 350 pounds. Can you honestly say that he's still your Prince Charming?

If you can, then you are one of the wonderful few who finds love where it is - under the skin. And by George, I wish there were more of us.

ladydrace: (Doktor Svans)
I almost forgot, [livejournal.com profile] nerdboyout  gave me 5 more things for the association meme, so here we go!

Merlin: Yeah, it's something like my #2 favorite show ever. Although, this latest season is being... less than satisfying. But there are many episodes yet. IT CAN STILL BE EPIC! And the slash will never stop being awesome. *nods*
Star Trek: I'm a trekkie, no doubt about it. While I do have my favorites, I'm forever in awe over the entire universe and I fervently hope that the future will look like that at least partly. The only real downside is the complete lack of gay characters. And speaking of:
Gay-friendly: Even before I got into slash I was very accepting of gay/queer people. I don't even think I can remember ever having thought there was anything strange about it. When my in-the-closet gay friend asked me in our teens what I thought my mum would say if I told her I was a lesbian, my reaction was something like: "She might be surprised, but she loves me, so she'd accept it". So it may very well be my mum's doing. She's awesome. :o)
Toddlers: Yeah, plural. Because one thing you never really consider when you have a kid is that then you'll have to deal with an incredible amount of OTHER kids. This is both a good and a bad thing. Bad because some kids are just scary, good because the rest are just so damn cute.
Intelligence: Oh wow, I'm flattered. :o) I try very hard to be clever and well-informed, but as time goes by, I see the truth more and more in the proverb that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

ladydrace: (Vomit now?)
So. Having finally admitted that I'm a Supernatural fangirl and shipping Dean/Cas like the fucking navy, I did the only sensible thing and read some dirty NC-17 fanfic.

As it turns out, there is a problem with this, because apparently, someone in the fandom thought that it would be neato if angels could self-lubricate and promptly invented "oil glands". Angels- equipped for your gay pleasure. And it has caught on like goddamn wildfire!

I'm sorry, but this is the last straw. I've been polite about it before, but goddammit, I draw the line here!

PLEASE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PEOPLE! STOP IT WITH THE SELF-LUBING!

I get it. I really do. Because it's so easy and tempting.

Aliens? Well, naturally their physiology would be different from Humans and could easily include self-lubing peen. It could very well just be me, but unless the writer thinks up a damn good explanation as to why the self-lubing occurs, I'll reserve my right to see it as a shortcut to avoid writing realistic gay sex.

Magical lube-spell? (I'm looking at you, Harry Potter fandom!) I can kinda buy this one, because if I was a horny teenager with a magic wand, I would get really fucking creative really fast. But woah, I cannot help but imagine how many poor teens end up in the hospital from lust-addled, mispronounced spells. Especially the lube/stretch/inside/outside thing. Honestly, I get that you're horny, but couldn't you just conjure up a tub of lube and do the work yourself? Evidently not. Mortifying medical emergency, HERE I COME!

Angel-lube? I think I can sort of see where the idea might have come from. Without looking into it too closely, I seem to recall certain water fowl have some sort of oil glands, meant to waterproof their feathers during grooming. But from there to lube? Good GOD, people!

Note: This is very much my personal opinion and not meant as an affront to readers or writers of the above. I might not find it hot AT ALL, but if this is your kink, do feel free to enjoy it whenever possible. However, if you only write self-lubing because you don't know about gay sex, then for god's sake, just admit you've never bought lube and consequently have no idea how it works. Watch some gay porn (there's plenty online) and get back to writing realistic sex. Thank you. If you believe that self-lubing is somehow less messy or less complicated than regular sex, then I personally think you're missing the point.

ladydrace: (Doktor Svans)
For many (and currently unimportant) reasons, I found myself reading about asexuality on Tumblr yesterday. And OMG, I found it pretty damn scary.

Now, I understand that Tumblr is a good place to vent your frustrations over the complete lack of understanding you meet as an asexual (or otherwise difficult to label) person. But frankly I was startled by the lack of understanding in their own camp. So your family doesn't understand the concept of asexuality. That's upsetting. I get that. But did anyone stop to think that maybe we poor hetero people find the concept as difficult to grasp as you do the idea of actually wanting to have sex?

Telling your folks that you're asexual doesn't mean that they magically understand what that even is. Give it time.

Also, if you're in your teens, I wish you'd give it just a little more time before deciding that just because you have not yet felt any interest in sex in the 5 or so years since your body was even ready for that sort of thing, that it will be impossible to feel any such desire in the next 80 years too. That your poor parents would even suggest such a thing does not sex-nazis make.

Jesus.

TL;DR: I guess there's wank in ANY community.

Tranny icon very appropriate.
ladydrace: (Plotbunnies From Playboy)
Having been reading (and writing) fanfic for years now, it came as something of a surprise to me when I realized the other day that there's something I've never taken into account when I post fic.

Every time I sit down to write a fic, I have only canon as fixed points. (Unless of course it's an AU.) Anything I've written before is out of my mind as soon as it's posted and plays no part in later fics. (Excluding only sequels and my drabble series.)

I never considered that this could be a point of confusion to my readers, but recently I discovered that many writers tag their fics: One-shot. I often considered this almost too much information, since the length and such would suggest it was just a small piece. But I completely failed to realize that some other writers create very firm head-canon when they write, so even while they don't label anything as a series or sequels, it's sometimes a given that facts revealed in earlier fics are still valid.

I don't. Sure, I have certain things I prefer to revisit in most of my fics, but I can just as easily decide to deviate from it if the bunny demands it. So this leaves me with the question: Should I label my future fics "one-shots"? Seriously, all my fics are one-shots to some degree or other, because I'm not the kind of writer who churns out the epic novellas. I stick to the short and light. It's just my thing.

As an example I can take my recent fic in which I explore Garak and Bashir's differences in sex drive. In Natural Decline (Or Lack Thereof) I portray Garak (or indeed any Cardassian) as having a ridiculously high sex drive, forming the basis for a funny little story. In an earlier fic: A Fistful of Garaks I go the other way and have Bashir being the one with the over active sex drive, which there is at least some basis for in canon.

Now, anyone reading either fic first might take that version as my personal canon and become confused when reading the other. I dunno, am I over-analyzing this? Are my readers smarter than this? Or should I cover all bases and outline more in the fic description?

I'd love input on this!

ladydrace: (There's your problem!)
I watch a lot of TV shows. A lot. And inevitably, when you watch as much as I do, after a while you pick up patterns. It's understandable, because certain things just work. Some things will almost always entertain a large portion of the population, so I can't blame the various players in the entertainment indistry for following the known success recipes. Which brings me to the gimmick.

I prefer watching shows where I get invested in the characters. So, predictably, there are a lot of character plots in my favorite shows. Which means that sometimes a character is the plot. And certain types of people are always a plot in themselves. Meaning that certain people are cast simply because their looks is the center of a plot.  It has taken me a long time to realise this, but now that I have, it grates on me.

I guess it's what people think of as sterotypes. And yet, not always, unless the term "different" is a stereotype in itself. Semantics. The point is that I recently caught myself expecting a certain plot when the "different" person appeared on the screen. I was somewhat mortified with myself because I thought I was more open than this. I thought I was beyond the point where I expected something extra from anyone not fitting into the fairly narrow category of mainstream entertainment characters. White, slim, heterosexual, confident, pretty. That seems to be the formular to be a character in most TV shows. If you're anything but that, when you appear on screen, people know you're the gimmick. They know that you're about to get special treatment. The gay man, the fat kid, heck- even a woman is still occasionally the gimmick. You'll know it when you see it.

And it saddens me.

I'm not saying that non-gimmick "different" characters don't exist, but you can't deny that they're rare. And more often than not, when "different" people are not the gimmick, it's most likely because they appear in a show where the entire cast are various shades of "different." The entire show can easily be the gimmick.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know that a lot of TV shows base their entire existence on focussing on something "different" but even in those shows, there is a template for being a character, as opposed to a gimmick. And honestly? I'm starting to hate the gimmick.

It's a distinct possibility that my recent hatred of the gimmick is born from my own "difference". I'm the fat chick. If I wasn't fat, I'd probably fade back into obscurity quite nicley, but I'm in a weight class now where I get noticed for it. If I were a character in a TV show, I'd have a plot. Most defintely.

I think what I'm getting at is that it bothers me that people aren't just people. Some people are people. Others are gimmicks.

TL;DR? Wake me up when Gene Roddenberry's future arrives and all Humans are just Humans. When the world includes black war heroes, female admirals, gay presidents and alien noses of the week.

KTXBAI.


ladydrace: (Green Pea)
Having a baby is one thing. While an infant is constantly demanding, its demands are generally fairly simple. Eat, sleep, poop. And if you're unlucky, it needs a doctor. While the child is still in the baby stage, you still get to do things your way most of the time, even though the time you have for yourself is as good as gone.

When your kid hits the toddler stage, you get more time for yourself, as the child becomes more self sufficient, your house arrives at some sort of stalemate in the constant child-proofing of things and you can actually get a few things done around the house, while the kid plays in its room/corner/bed/pen/where ever. The physical demands of the child are still seen to somehow and if you're lucky, you'll be allowed to sleep at night.

However, one thing becomes ridculously complicated once the kid achives a sense of self and suddenly develops willpower to rival most marathon runners:

Doing things your way.

All your years of shaping your habits and routines are flushed out the toilet as everything becomes a matter of how easy you can make every little thing. And suddenly easy doesn't mean what you thought it did. Before "toddler" you would do things which ever way seemed more simple/time-efficient/practical. Now, however, easy means: "How do I get this task done while keeping toddler happy?" If it means you have to put shoes on the kid before trousers or mop a swimming pool off your floor every time you do dishes, then that's just how it'll be. After the 50th tantrum, most of us either allow the kid its preferred routine or get inventive to reach some sort of compromise. Personally, I keep toy cars a-plenty in my handbag and I wear shoes inside the house if there is merely a glimmer of kiddo wanting to go outside anytime soon. Because that makes things easier.

It's not big changes, but there are a million of them and it's bloody exhausting having to rethink everything, like how you pull on your pants or eat your dinner a thousand times a day.

I admit that it might just be because I have control issues that this part has proved the most difficult for me, but wow, I really wish someone would have warned me about this particular problem. "You'll have no life." "Give up the idea of free time." "Expect constant stress and worry for the rest of your life." Those are some of the regular warnings you get when you announce to the world that you're "expecting". But then again, I might not have taken someone seriously if they'd told me that "In a couple of years, you will be  hiding in your bedroom when you have to zip a bag shut." Even if the warning had come, I doubt I would ever really have understood.

I actually often frowned at people who said things like: "Until you have kids, you won't understand." I don't anymore. (Not as much anyway) Because... this? This is beyond imagining.

But to end this on a happy note, I have to say that there's nothing more amazing in my world than when a sticky little hand reaches for mine, so sure that it'll be there that there's no need to look for it or any hesitation. Knowing that all your troubles has lead to this little Human trusting you whole-heartedly is a very special thing. My son is truly an awesome little person. :o)

ladydrace: (No lace mrs Bennet!)
There is an annoying trend in children's stores these days. If you come into a shop looking for something particular and need to ask an assistant or something, you immediately get the question: "Boy or girl?" I can sort of see how it would be relevant, but it still bothers me. Especially because everything is now divided into boy and girl sections. But what if my 5 year old niece wants a shirt with Spiderman on it? I'll have to go to the boy's section. Or if my son's favorite color turns out to be red? I'll have to go to the girl's section. This disgusts me. And don't even get me started on the toys. My god, I could rant about this for hours.

Instead, I think I'll just offer my opinion on kids and gender.

Simply put, I think kids should be allowed to express themselves in any way they bloody well choose. If they want to play with cars or dolls, I'm fine either way and I won't panic if Pea decides in a few years that he wants to be dressed as a princess for Halloween or whatever. It doesn't make him any less a boy.

Quite by chance, it turns out Pea is a very traditionally "boy-ish" boy. He loves cars, speed, noise, dirt and wild games. However, even as stereotypical as he is, he is just as eager as all the other kids at daycare to play with the high heeled shoes and tutus and handbags. They are a major hit with all the kids equally. And even when he decides that the pink dress is the best thing ever, he is still a boy. I would never tell him he cannot do this or that "because it's a girl thing". Or that he should do so and so, because "that's what boys do".

When I was a little girl, cars were excellent. I still have a few toy cars from when I was a kid. I played "pirate" or went dumpster diving with the older boys, even though my mother told me repeatedly that I wasn't allowed. Normally, I was almost too obedient, but certain boyish activities proved too tempting to ignore. And I was still a girl. No gender crisis, ever.

I feel so sorry for the children who grow up being told they have to fit into this or that box. And I include any box in this. Boy/girl, smart/stupid, bookish/practical. However, I also find it problematic if you don't give the kids any guidelines at all. Pea needs to know he is a boy. How he chooses to define his life and interests should not be restricted, but no matter how we flip it, biology has so far dictated that he is a boy. Some parents are so eager to avoid the "boxing in" that they end up making their kids confused. If you keep putting your boy in dresses or if you keep giving your daughter cars instead of dolls, regardless of what the kids wants, then I think it's just as bad.

I think what I'm really going for here is that I want my child to be able to make an informed decision. I will give him the freedom to choose his preferences, but I also want to guide him. Example: When Pea grows up, he will (most likely, anyway) be a man. A father (hopefully). Maybe a brother. And I tell him this. I call him "my little man". "Son". "My beautiful boy." because that's what he is. A boy. If he suddenly tells me one day that he'd rather be a girl, I'll let him wear dresses or whatever he wants for a while and consider it a phase. If he does it for years on end, I will start considering if the biology fucked up and made him something physically, which mentally he is not. I'm not saying I will let my son have a sex change. Quite frankly, I refuse to make a choice like that for him. If he wants to go through the whole shebang when he's 21, I'll back him all the way. But it is still something he should choose for himself.

So it boils down to this:

As long as my son is looking to me to define his reality, I will tell him he's a boy. But I will also tell him that just because he's a boy, it doesn't mean he can't wear the pink tutu.
ladydrace: (Phoenix purple x-men)
In memory of family and friends who have lost the battle with cancer; and in support of the ones who continue to conquer it! Post this on your blog if you know someone who has or had cancer.
93% won't copy and paste this. Will you?

(Rest in Peace, Dear Maude. You were a rocking chick. )
ladydrace: (Donkey is NOT Amused)
Oh look! It's me, writing about something serious!

Upon discovering that I on my friends list have a few hijab wearing girls, I've pondered the whole idea a lot recently.

Quite personally, I've always been a little curious about them. Some of them look quite beautiful and I suspect it might be because it seems so exotic to me, but since I was very young, I've been very eager to try one. When I was a kid, I would often play "harem girl". Believe me, I mean no offence at all, but to me - in my young, naïve eyes - harem girls were beautiful, graceful and worth imitating. The hijab brings back that childhood image and somewhere deep in my mind, scarf wearing girls will always look that extra bit graceful to me.

So, you might ask, why don't I just go put a scarf on? Well, first of all, I've tried a few times in front of a mirror and no matter how I try, I end up looking either like someone covering for a bad dye-job or just someone who doesn't know what she's doing. Meaning it looks lumpy or loose or just... I dunno... wrong. My pasty face could have something to do with it, but I do see some pale hijab wearers in the streets and they seem to manage it just fine.

And then there's going out in public with them. This is where it gets hairy. (Oh lol. Horrible pun. Sorry.) In Denmark we value our freedom. Freedom of speech, of religion and just basically freedom from even a hint of oppression. In fact, in my personal opinion, we've gone a little too far and have become fanatics. It sounds weird. Can you have too much freedom? Yes, if the so-called-freedom is dictated by someone other than you, yes. Then it's suddenly not freedom anymore.

Let me give you an example.

I have several time - without even blushing - gone into a sex shop, browsed the toys and movies, asked the clerk for advice and gone out with bulging bags and hauled them home, quite openly. Should people see me on the street or in the shop, they would most likely think I was either a little embarrassing to be around, a sad, lonely cow or perhaps (if I were lucky) a free and openly sexual woman.

Now, if I - with my before-mentioned pasty face - were to put on a head scarf and go out in public, I would suddenly be an object of much more attention. Many would assume I was oppressed, unhappy and in serious need of help. Because, apparently, thinking that hijabs are beautiful means you're insane.

Politics and media have somhow sold us the idea that head scarves of any kind are a clear sign of oppression. Religious oppression, political oppression or social oppression. See how I keep using that word? Well, that's because the media do the same. And I find it a little disgusting.

I like freedom. I really do. But then again, I would also like the freedom to choose restrictions for myself. Even something as simple as restricting my bad dye-job, I would like to be able to do that, without people assuming I need help. I couldn't fault people for assuming I was a muslim, since the hijab is a classic part of being a muslim woman. But even muslim women are not all oppressed and it's hard to convince the Danish people of that with terror-propaganda being stuffed down our throats every time we open a paper, turn on the tv or the pc.

And after those musings, I'd like to announce that I'm a coward. Even if I somehow manage to get the scarf right some day, I don't know if I'd dare to go out the door. I'd rather go out wearing a penis-hat (actually, I might do that just for fun...) than a hijab. And that's sad. It's really sad.
ladydrace: (Me)
So, I was around the web on a lot of "love yourself" sites today and watched (and read) a few fat rants, which inspired my own. It's very much about me, so if you can't be bothered to watch it, trust me, I won't get hurt. ;o)





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Lady Drace

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