"I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions or unnecessary conversations."
Unknown (via hawkatte)
Robert Sapolsky about his study of the Keekorok baboon troop from National Geographic’s Stress: Portrait of a Killer.
Thiiiiiiis, people, thiiiis!
1. Kill alpha male types
2. Achieve world peace
I’ve actually read a lot of Sapolsky’s work. He’s one of my favorite scientists in the neuro/socio world.
I just watched the documentary and there is so much more about the troop that isn’t in this photoset—not only does the troop have a culture of little aggression and greater cooperation, but any incoming jerk baboons learned within a few months that their shitty behaviour was in no way acceptable, that the troop only rewarded sociability, and they changed accordingly.
If effin’ baboons can learn this there’s pretty much no reason to believe that our only option in dealing with assholes is to just ignore their behaviour and let it continue.
there really is no excuse.
"incoming jerk baboons" hahaha
I f******* love Sapolsky! His book A Primate’s Memoir permanently is a great read!
I need to take a second to explain why this woman means so much to me.
Forgive me, I’m usually kind of a goofball, but I’m going to get on my cheesy sentimental podium for a second, because I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Sailor Moon moments (from a filler episode no less) and why it affected me so much as a child.
I will always remember the first time I saw this episode. I watched Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) figure skating so beautifully and gracefully; she looked like an ethereal princess gliding around the rink. A handsome male figure skater comes up and joins her. She swoons instantly, and it’s all adorable and romantic (aside from the fact that he’s, you know, a demon who’s targeting her for the Dark Kingdom, but that’s besides the point). But for a moment, it gets awkward. Her skating partner can’t lift her because she’s athletic, tall and not exactly dainty, so instead, without batting an eye, she lifts him over her head. The look on her face wasn’t apologetic. She genuinely was having a blast and didn’t care that taking the traditionally masculine power position might make her seem less attractive to him or that she needed to hide her strength so as not to emasculate him.
To Makoto, lifting him was just as viable a solution as him lifting her.
I always was drawn to Makoto for her interesting juxtaposition of the masculine and feminine. Her version of womanhood was complex, well-rounded, and unique to anything else I had seen in kids shows before. She was at the same time strong and sweet, badass and gentle. On the one hand, a tough self-sufficient independent woman who had lived on her own for years and answered to no one. On the other, a hopeless romantic who liked crushing on cute boys and secretly dreamed of becoming a beautiful bride someday.
I also remember the episode where she gets a lady crush on Haruka, which was not so much about sexual confusion, but more the fact that she deeply admires how Haruka is confidently able to reconcile the masculine and the feminine parts of herself, and doesn’t apologize for how anyone else receives her. Someone else’s confusion or inability to put her in a box is their problem, not hers.
Makoto even admits to Usagi that one of the reasons she learned how to cook was that she felt the need to balance her tomboyishness and tall, muscular stature with more traditionally girly traits so that it would maybe soften her up and people wouldn’t be as intimidated or afraid of her.
(Pictured: Terror incarnate)
I may not be able to lift a grown man over my head, but as a tomboy who played soccer and hockey, and was the tallest girl in my elementary and middle school class, her’s is struggle I identify so deeply with, and is something I always have and still wrestle with. Judging by the responses I got from a lot of girls after the AX Sailor Moon Q&A panel where I mentioned that very thing, it would seem that apparently I’m far from alone in that struggle.
And this applies for guys, too. I think both genders often feel pressure to align their interests and personality with what’s more socially acceptable for their biological sex. Men have to worry that they’re being too “effeminate” and if they show too much emotion or sensitivity, they’ll “lose their man card”. Women are told to avoid being assertive or opinionated so as not to appear “bossy” or “bitchy”.
And God forbid you be your full-blown, unbridled, unfiltered, strong, smart, sassy self around a guy you’re interested in. The common sentiment seems to be that if you’re not a demure, coy, shrinking violet, somehow men can’t possibly find you attractive. (…Although the fact that Makoto had a notoriously terrible time finding love didn’t do much to assuage my worry that boys would be turned off by my personality. But then again, she was a teenager which is just an all-around awkward time for everyone in the romance department. If they did a Sailor Moon epilogue to show them in their 20s or 30s, I’d be curious to see if Makoto finally got her wish of getting married….annnnd I’m seriously postulating about the long-term romantic prospects of a fictional character. Wowza).
That’s why what Naoko Takeuchi did was so brilliant and progressive in my eyes. When I started watched this show, I was young, insecure, and impressionable. I was still trying to find myself and figure out what categories I fit into. Seeing Makoto’s journey showed me that it’s okay to not fit neatly into any box, and that girls can be superheroes, too. You can save the world and vanquish evil and do it while wearing a skirt, cute accessories, and fabulous boots, if you want. You don’t have to sacrifice an ounce of your strength in order to maintain your femininity, and vice versa.
Having that inner conflict represented on screen helped me so much growing up, because it showed me that I wasn’t alone. It inspired me to believe that being strong, courageous, and athletic, and being vulnerable, soft, and, feminine are not mutually exclusive.
On days when I question myself and really really need to be reminded of all these things, I stop, and think:
"Hey. Remember, Jupiter was a princess and a soldier. Don’t make apologies for who you are just because some people’s tiny brains can’t process the fact that you are a fiercely powerful princess, a gentle warrior, a giggling boy-crazy tomboy, a decidedly “unladylike” lady, and undeniably 100% woman.”
Whenever a new character appears in mainstream comics, that is from a rarely represented, or poorly represented, marginalized group, there is a question of…
…do you do publicity mentioning it, or do you just present it as a story like any other?
I have gone back and forth on this a lot, and I don’t think any group has a real consensus.
I used to think, hey, let’s make a big fuss, let’s let people know! Representation is important, let’s get the word out!
And now I am not so sure. It feels very weird to me to do a news story saying, “oh, this character is ______.” It feels like asking for cookies, like it does a disservice to the people being represented.
So, I don’t really do that. When Alysia Yeoh came out, I agreed to two interviews only. The media explosion that made it even to late night talk shows all came from just two stories.
With the Movement, which had, I think, one of the most diverse casts of any mainstream comic ever, we didn’t ever do an interview about that. While books with much less diversity actually made headlines on that topic alone. And now, the Movement is canceled. ;)
But it still feels like the right choice to me. Treating those characters like any other characters still feels right.
Am I wrong? Is it better to get the word out? The female Thor, Falcon as Cap, those are going to get huge sales, they got tons of media notice. And sales will be way up from where they would be if no one had said anything about it.
And sales is an important indicator, as much as we wish sometimes that it wasn’t. If female Thor and black Captain America do great business, that will very likely be a great thing for comics and representation.
To me, it still feels a little weird. But I want those books to be hits, I want books with representation to be hugely successful.
The thing that gives me the most pause is, I know the vast majority of potential readers don’t follow comics on Tumblr, or news sites, or twitter. The only way they would ever know about a female Thor is if it gets huge publicity. So is it better to talk about it like it’s huge news?
I had this discussion with a youth counselor in North Carolina, and he was absolutely ALL FOR doing publicity when new lgbtq characters were in mainstream comics. He used them as an aid when dealing with lgbtq kids who were struggling with acceptance. And he said the news stories of things like Kevin Keller at Archie and Alysia in Batgirl were a big deal to his kids.
So that gave me pause.
I still don’t know the answer. Big publicity can feel like exploitation, and even further marginalization.
But if it’s not mentioned at all, then the word doesn’t really get out, and the people who might most enjoy that representation may never get to see it.
I don’t have an answer for this at all, I’m just curious what you all think.
EDITED TO ADD: I don’t think The Movement failed for this reason, by the way.
At least when it comes to queer representation, I lean towards publicity. It tells both comics-reading and non-comics-reading audiences ‘HEY! QUEER REP OVER HERE!”
Even from just a convenience point of view. Gender and race can be communicated visually; sexuality really can’t be. I want to read comics with queer characters and it publicity is a great way for me to find them!
Final Note: Ms. Marvel is now Marvel’s highest-selling female-led title, and I can’t help but feel that people wouldn’t have found it/given it the chance without that publicity.