Archive for June, 2013

genderbending

June 28, 2013

I’ve been getting into a new fandom recently.

It’s on the small side, and there isn’t a lot of genderbending fics out there.  (Internet rule 63 – if it exists, there is genderbending.)  I’m not hugely into genderbending, but I do find it interesting, especially if done well.  Anyway, I was wondering about this lack and went through some mental exercises, because I immediately got snagged on it.  But the thing is, it also made me really uncomfortable.

Main characters are male.  The one who’s POV we follow is a guy in his middle-30’s who is a career superhero – let’s call him K.  K’s career is in the dumps, he’s in the cusp of being replaced by a  younger guy (the other main character, whom we shall call B), he’s been a widower for some time, his daughter is back in the small town he grew up with his mother.  K’s also a bit of a drinker, he doesn’t cook, he’s socially oblivious and loud.  I’m trying to make him a woman, and suddenly, all of these traits which are acceptable in a man become more difficult to accept in a woman.  (Which just goes to show how entrenched I am in gendered thinking, I guess.)

I don’t think I’m alone in this.  A woman who drinks a little, is devoted to her job to the exclusion of her child and yet is unsuccessful at said job, has no domestic abilities, and can’t handle herself socially (but has a really big heart) would be much more harshly judged.  I judge that characterization quite a bit.   Same personality, different genders/sexes, different reactions.  Each one of these things, especially the child piece, I find difficult to accept in a woman.  (I mean, I find this sort of hard to accept in a man, but less so.  I think I just failed feminism.)

( It kind of sort of brings up a comparison to Cagney and Lacey (I think the Sharon Gless character, Cagney?), and while I never really watched the show, I was definitely aware of the characters.  Maybe I’m thinking about that because there aren’t a lot of other shows that feature two women as protagonists (as opposed to two men, or a man and a woman).)

I think it’s easy to make the foil character, B, a woman, perhaps too easily.  B is career driven, calculating, sort of mean to the main character, revenge-driven.  It’s funny because those things are unlikeable in either gender/sex, but somehow, less likeable in a woman.

Eventually, though, they learn to work together through the Power of Friendship and Trust.

I may actually write this, but it would definitely only be an exercise for me – a little bit to see where I could take the story, a little bit to see if I could actually do it, and a little bit to see if I can get over myself and my gendered way of thinking.  I’m leaning toward the theory that if something makes you uncomfortable, you should write it, because there’s going to be a lot of juice there.

One thing’s for certain.  Nobody, maybe not even me, is going to like it.

And that’s a bit of a shame.

(W thinks I just put too much thought into it.)

Advertisements

the unmaking of things

June 13, 2013

I just don’t make things.  I also unmake them.

I frogged a hat recently – one of those that you knit the brim as a big cable and then pick up and knit the body.  Couldn’t get it to fit.  I suppose it helps that I develop a mild antipathy to most of my projects as I’m working on them.   (Something along the lines of “stupid ##$$@#@# – I’m going to finish you!”)  I usually get over this once I’m done, but if I dislike something enough to frog it, I don’t mourn long.  (Perhaps I could have salvaged the cable and made it into a headband, but eh, I wasn’t going to wear that either.)

We’re trying to do a bit of clearing out.  So while the kids were out, W and I tossed/donated some toys.  There were trashed hand-me-downs, things that were outgrown, and then the bad gifts.  But times being what they are, I try to be moderately eco, so I have to find things to do with them.   I took apart some of them for the electronic/battery part of the garbage pickup (especially with the stinkin’ noisy-ass mechanical toys that someone related to W gives us all the time).  Those, I terminated with extreme prejudice.

I admit, the insides were really interesting.

innards

So, I guess something to be learned in all things. (Even from awful electronic toys that no sane parent would wish on another.)

covetousness

June 11, 2013

I’m not a terribly covetous person by nature.  I try very hard to be happy with what I have.

I’m also the least likely person to be a knitter.  I don’t wear a lot of sweaters, or shawls, or scarves, neither does W.  (On the other side of that, I do wear a lot of down coats, but I’m not going to be raising ducks any time soon.)  I can’t wear a lot of animal fibers – after a while, they make the more sensitive skin on my face/neck/arms itch.  I’m not very crafty.  I don’t have and don’t necessarily want to have much of a stash.

And yet, somehow, I’m completely taken over by knitting right now.  I love the puzzle of it, the doing, the thinking, the community that I’m finding.

Then there’s the objects themselves.  The beauty of the fiber.  The skill required to make some of these items.  Most of them have an inherent usefulness/beauty.  Sometimes there’s humor or whimsy.  I love that – you can see the personality behind the pattern.

There’s something so dangerous about looking at other people’s knits – I covet it all.  I don’t have the skills to make it all, but in my head, there’s a voice that’s like: “ALL THE KNITS!”

I am in so much trouble.

craft – a family affair

June 5, 2013

Remember what I was saying about kids getting the whole ‘being crafty’ deal?

I present to you what Henry made for me for Mother’s Day.

potholder

It’s pretty awesome.  It even matches some of my yarn – although I imagine that was unintentional.  (It matches a lot of his clothes as well.)   My first gifted potholder.  I’m quite pleased with it.  (He wanted to make sure I would use it.  I will, gladly.)

Once W saw me weighing yarn to figure out if I had enough to make a particular project, he instantly understood what I was doing.  It impressed him, I think.  My only comment on my scale was that it’s smallest unit is 2 grams – I can’t get odd numbers of grams.  He offered to purchase a really good, scientific scale for me.  (If there is something W is good at, it is picking things like that.)  I declined.  I know where there’s a really, really, really good one if I need it.  (W’s office.  In case you’re concerned, he’s a scientist, not a drug dealer.)

As for Girl J’s contribution, she likes to wear the crafts (sometimes), which is pretty good.