Who Are You?

You remember that post from the end of June when I said there was no chance of seeing a female Doctor Who in my lifetime?

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier about being wrong in my life. Waking up this morning, to the first day when Jodie Whittaker is Doctor Who is… well, part of me still doesn’t believe it. My Twitter feed yesterday summed a lot of it up quite well, but if I’m honest this tweet is the real reason I’m celebrating:

That’s been me since I pretended to be James Bond, because all the women in his world were simply afterthoughts. Then I discovered Emma Peel, and I’ve sought out my own female heroes ever since… but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I still aspire to be the men. The ‘problem’ here is not the gender of the people involved. It really does not matter one iota whether these heroes are men or women. The bigger issue, by a long way, is their sexuality.  That’s what detonated all those bombs yesterday, will cause wailing and trauma for months to come. As Doctor Who becomes a woman, NOBODY should lose their minds. The problem with the individually focused, me-cultured Social media climate we live in is that lots of people can’t separate gender from desire.

I lost a fair number of followers yesterday on the back of my joyous ranting. I asked one of them why this appointment was so galling: she cited the trouble coping with the fact that the Doctor has a grand-daughter. How was it possible to reconcile this fact now the man is a woman? This is, of course, using established conventions that you need one of each sex to reproduce and create offspring. It is the same convention that will imprint on men that the Doctor was their hero… except now, she’s a heroine. The man they looked up to and aspired to become is now someone they could find sexually attractive. That is going to be difficult for many people to cope with.

There’s a flip side to this that’s made me especially angry, and it is watching certain women complain you can’t have a woman in the TARDIS. They enjoy the idea of a man being in control. Capaldi might not have been the most visually appealing of Doctors, but you could always go back to the days of Matt Smith and David Tennant and pretend you were one being rescued, or you were the favourite companion they’d turn to after a long day of saving the Universe. How can you write fanfic when the 13th Doctor’s forcing you to become a lesbian?

All of these issues are underpinned by conventional notions of sexuality. Once one dismisses these, it does not matter one iota who plays what role. What then comes into play is whether your canon will support the change. When a female Thor was announced by Marvel, already established wisdom backed up the decision by stating that Thor’s hammer would only imprint on someone worthy of wielding it, and that choice was not gender specific. The path to gender fluidity in the Time Lords has been laid well in advance, placed into canon as far back as the transformation of Tennant to Smith.

‘The Doctors Wife’ establishes, IN CANON, the Corsair who (according to 11) ‘didn’t feel like himself unless he had (a) tattoo. Or herself, a couple of times. Oooh, she was a bad girl.’ It is another thing to thank Mr Moffat for, I suppose, apart from breaking the whole show apart and putting it back together in a modern, progressive fashion. You can choose to forget all this for the sake of non-canon sensibilities, of course, but anyone who offers shock and surprise that this could happen has really not been paying the right amount of attention.

You can’t complain now, because that’s your fandom, and you should know better.

I want to quickly mention 007 here. This is a Universe that, as it stands, won’t support anything other than a white, hetrosexual Bond, if you look at canon for guidance. Sure, the franchise has tried to reinvent itself (see my mate Roger’s excellent dissection on License to Kill and how changing this male lead’s not as simple as writing in some historical precedent) but even now with Mr D. Craig, Esq in the lead roll, that reinvention has only gone so far. Unless something radical changes in terms of how the lead man is portrayed, it is unlikely we will ever see change on the scale that now exists in the TARDIS. Personally I’d want to pair him up with an equal female agent as we did in Tomorrow Never Dies, but I’m not sure even that is possible at this stage. Some ideas, like it or not, just have to be left to die.

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There has also been, quite understandably, some comments on how the kerfuffle in the TARDIS could have been avoided if an actor of colour or from a non-white background had been cast. That is another large can of worms: it might help the Bond franchise reboot, on reflection, but I suspect would have caused similar levels of outrage in the TARDIS, which is ridiculous. This is 2017 and honestly, anyone getting upset at a TV show employing anyone in a lead role who isn’t white and male is on a hiding to nothing.

There are more important things to get upset about, and really this is not one of them.

 

Beautiful

Fact of the Day

I had pause yesterday to stop and think why I take more pictures of myself than was the case a decade ago. Is it because I’m happier with my appearance now that I’ve lost weight, or maybe that I realise I can sell myself better with an image than will ever be the case with words… there might be a bit of both of those in the mix, not gonna lie. However, the real truth is a lot simpler: I’m comfortable now, so much more than I ever was before. Looking ‘good’ does not make me feel good. This is a point that never really registered before, but it is true. Feeling comfortable in clothes, not wearing make up, being strong enough to do a 5 mile burst of exercise without collapsing in a heap… these are my notions of ‘beauty’. Those changes I now find make me happy, and I want to share them.

As I begin my Internet of Words journey, labels and definitions are subjects I will be dedicating considerable time to discussing. I already know that conventional labelling has no use to me, that it is for other people to use and direct at me as they see fit. I’m now, after a number of years, also beginning to understand that how I define myself is beginning to alter. This isn’t just the clothes or the music or indeed the basic feelings that live inside me, it is every single cell of my body. The differences I’ve felt were for years explained away because I was depressed, or angry, and often when I was both. Now I have had the chance to really look inside myself and work out some truths, I am cautiously examining what it is I might truly be. It’s a slow and meticulous task. I’d like to think I’m evolving, were that not a blatant misuse of a definition to begin with.

The fact I’d have to choose a label for other people to identify what I am so they can treat me accordingly I find beyond depressing. I have a mentoring application to fill in today, that pretty much demands there is labelling so that I can be identified as a minority. It is both annoying and depressing that this has to happen, and I hope I can find a way on my application form to express this disenchantment, and that only through writing I have ever truly felt like myself. This is the moment where there comes a reminder that expression means a clear and concise ability to do just that, normally in a very short word space. If I have learnt my lessons well, I should be able to sell myself appropriately. In the end, if all you have is an impression and a moment in which to make it, that is all that can be hoped for.

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From now on, my personal post is what I write first every day, because this is the journey that matters most. Everything else is thought and planned behind that, the banner wielding front line of ‘every day, writing makes life better.’ I can only hope that my age and experience will eventually count for something. If I keep applying for mentorships, maybe eventually there’ll be one that hits the target. So what if I’m 50 and apparently should know everything? I have very little grasp of the harsh realities of so many things, and yet the implication remains that only youth will understand and wish to learn and evolve. That has to change. If I can’t do it by conventional means? Then I’ll have to find a back door.

This journey is never going to be boring or predictable, that’s for damn sure.

Not a Job

 

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My daughter, it transpires, is not a fan of Feminism, and instead thinks we should have Everyone-ism as a concept. Everybody’s equal, regardless of sex, race and ability, and you take care of those who can’t whilst encouraging those who are capable to do more. Women shouldn’t need a day to highlight their existence. That should happen every day, regardless of circumstance. She’s absolutely right, of course. Men are not my enemy. Stupid people are, greedy people, plus those who try and lie and cheat their way into things that should not be theirs. Those who destroy the environment and start wars, who profit from exploitation and vulnerability. If the majority of those individuals end up being men, it is hardly fair to then accuse everyone in the gender base of the same crimes, and yet many women do, because in their own way they are as blinkered as the opposite sex they target.

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Days like today often end in a fight for precisely this reason: stupidity wins. Nobody thinks, everybody reacts and out come all the toys from collective prams. Throwing words like ‘victim’ and ‘shaming’ at those who do not seem to understand is not the answer either, because sometimes the truth is not easily identified as right and wrong. As we discussed yesterday, people invest a lot of personal relevance into social media, and when I start talking in generalities many people won’t and can’t see it is just that. There are those who will relate all instances of abuse to their own personal situation, regardless of detail. Victims will seek out other victims for reassurance, and sometimes this isn’t helpful, especially as individual incidents can vary wildly from person to person. However, on the flip side, I understand how important it is make people talk and reach outward instead of in, and this is where life becomes incredibly tricky to balance.

Reality and truth are what is really needed, and it can be really difficult in a virtual environment to reliably separate these from fictions of all varieties.

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I’ve mentioned before that my mental health ‘credentials’ have been doubted by people in the past, that some will naturally assume that a certain kind of woman will ‘play’ the victim card for her own nefarious ends. I’ve lost a significant number of female followers over the years for refusing to compromise on how I feel, for being what I am, good and bad, in public. In fact, I know full well certain people consider me ‘dangerous’ as a result. I was reminded yesterday of one person who made efforts to try to make me remove other people from my own Followers list because she deemed them unsuitable as mutual friends…  and then I laugh, because it isn’t just my own sex controlling and manipulating, quite the opposite, and we go back to the assertion that it isn’t gender that’s the problem, but bad people that are.

PIES!

The reason we get a National Pie Week is for manufacturers to sell more pies. The reason why we have an International Women’s Day is to remind the planet that gender equality is still not a basic human right and should be, alongside education and healthcare and food and water… and that’s before we get to torture, slavery, subjugation and all the other shit bad people do to the half of our society who act as carriers of the next generation. Without women? No men, or Humanity, but that means that if women don’t want to have children they’re not broken, or if they choose to challenge male authority they’re a radical. THEY’RE JUST DIFFERENT. This is your daily reminder that people (those sheep over there) are afraid of things they do not understand. This is the one day a year where I get to explain this, and stand a better than average chance someone might be listening.

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Conversely this is also the day that certain wags decide to ask for an International Men’s Day, complain that women have too much of a say to begin with, and that their lovely fragile male egos are all bruised and damaged as a result. Seriously, we understand the impingement of your masculinity only too well, you tell us about it every fucking day. This is what it’s like to have to live your life: nothing is easy, we all have to work for what we want, get over yourselves already. If everybody was just equal, none of this would be a problem, and our entire society would function with considerably more love and respect from the ground upwards. As that isn’t the case, today is still Wednesday, and if you just want to carry on as if the World is not burning around you? A hastag and a blog post won’t matter anyway.

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For me, however, today was the day when I realised that I don’t want to be considered a feminist any more. I don’t care about ascribing to a movement that pushes for equality but won’t allow women to do what they wish with their bodies. The choice is not anyone else’s to make but your own. If you can’t grasp that, you’re the one doing it wrong, and I want no part of your stupid, pointless rantings. You’re no better than the people you’re arguing against, frankly, and I am done with your stupid.

I’d just like a series of days where everybody learns to get along.

SexyBack

I understand how the Internet works. I realise that this place is not all rainbows and love. Many people use anonymity and HQ graphics for stuff that we don’t talk about with kids in the room, that only happens between consenting adults. That farmyard activity. It is the elephant in the room, trunk metaphor upstanding. However, as a woman, I feel perhaps I get a raw deal in all of this, and that’s precisely why there’s a problem, on oh so many levels. One small blog post cannot do justice to the wealth of issues that are tied to this particular table, so be ready with your safe word, because I don’t intend to offend here, simply slip this into conversation and walk away on my four inch spiked heels.

I get why Pornbots on twitter are female, but where are the male ones?

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I made a tweet yesterday which included the word ‘classy’ which, I discovered a while ago is like Pornbot catnip. It means it is time to go through my Twitter Lists again this morning, after I’ve written this, and remove myself from any I don’t remember being told I’ve joined or that include any pictures of ladies lovely mammaries. Don’t get me wrong, these are spectacular breasts, but I don’t want this in my face. If I did, I’d ask for it, and I’d sure as fuck not do it where I work. However, I keep wondering why men don’t sell services like this. I get the basic issues with erectile tissue down below, but there’s some practical considerations to be factored in here. Most women will never be impressed with a Dick DM, and if you want to show you’re classy? Not really the way to go ever, even when in a serious relationship. However, a well honed, muscular chest is a thing of true beauty. You can sell amazing numbers of things with the right six pack. Why are there not male pornbots doing this right now?

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I don’t even need the ‘angel’ or the ‘sexy kiss’ emojis, I can happily fantasise just with the picture. The reality, of course, is that according to all these experts who write the books on what arouses women and men will smile politely and point out that visual stimulus for a man matters far more than it does for a woman. We like the idea of a relationship with the person we’re pretending to fuck, that somehow it’s more about caring and consideration and not stress relief and let’s stop the bus here, fellas. I hate to break it to you, but I like to wank as much as you do. There, I said it. The fact that an increasing number of women aren’t either afraid to admit this and indeed do just this on a daily basis is not news either. It’s been going on for THOUSANDS OF YEARS or else there wouldn’t be a whole industry around the dildo, Ben-Wa balls and everything else that women use to keep themselves happy.

Oh yeah, we’re supposed to have a man for that, aren’t we? Well, many of us do, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in thirty years with the same bloke. This desire for male chest on demand is not because I’m lacking anywhere, far from it. What I’d like to understand is why, when the motivation for sexual urges are far more complex than a couple of surveys and the odd BDSM mainstream movie will suggest, women are the ones doing all the selling. Oh right, it’s because it’s a white male world. Gotcha. Except its not, and the Internet (of all places) is where diversity is far more front and centre than you’ll ever find down the local pub or in your community centre. I feel there’s some mileage in trying to investigate further, but there’s always a bit of reticence in doing such research once you know Government’s decided to start logging your internet use in case at 50 I decide to become an extremist.

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The future, it seems to me, ought to be whatever you want, whenever you want it, but with the ability to say no. The annoyance of pornbots is the fact I don’t get a say. Ironically, when I want to look at lovely bodies, there remains very few places where ‘ethical’ porn exists, that isn’t about exploitation or money laundering or soft focus and less money shots. This desire is probably why the naked bodies of certain actors have always been an exploitable commodity, and that’s not something that sits particularly well with the mother of two kids in me. It seems impossible to find what must exist as a happy medium, and makes me wonder if the androgyny that is often favoured in youth isn’t a pointer to how this is going to work moving forward. Sexual should always be a choice and never a demand, always personal and never specified, and most importantly cannot be forced on an individual by another. Consent, ultimately is the key, and that’s why the pornbots are removed.

If you want to shove breasts in my face, you need to ask permission first.

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Then there will be those of you who’ll want to argue the merits of control and dominance, and that’s when I’ll realise I’ve answered my own question. I know why there’s no male pornbots, there’s just no money in it. If you’re prepared to pay to wank to the image of a stranger, that’s what you’ll pay for regardless. What I’m craving is a choice that already exists, just without a suitable delivery system, and if it mattered enough, I’d go find it anyway, but it doesn’t. Hell, if it really mattered enough I could set up the business, but a woman exploiting men is too much like the Conservative Party right now to be either sexy or worthwhile. For the record, I wouldn’t do that, I’d pay all my lovely six pack guys to lounge on chaise lounges and eat grapes whilst staring into the middle distance whilst Paul Oakenfold mixes played. However, there would be those who’d rightly argue this isn’t porn, but art, and they’d probably have a point. I could go down the V&A and stare at statues instead, and that’s a cheaper setup.

I’m not done with this subject, I’ll warn you now. There’s a lot here to consider, and I realise this is the tip of a very large and pretty deep spreading iceberg.

Leave it with me.

China Girl

I went out with my husband and some friends of his a while back, to a concert at our town’s main venue. In conversation, my relationship with Twitter came up, especially in reference to the number of people I follow. My husband then was asked why he wasn’t nearly as prolific, and his answer was wonderfully simple: it was asking for trouble. The rationale is really simple: when (for instance) you know there’s a fundamental differing of opinion between people you follow on the platform, a mental check goes on whenever Mr Alt decides he wants to respond to an issue. Will this offend someone I know? If he’s at least in some way that it could, he just doesn’t bother. Confident enough in his own understanding of the place he lives and works in, it is not worth the effort if the result will be negative.

That’s the mental check every single person ought to do AS STANDARD.

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Yesterday, someone quite prominent in the place I ‘work’ said something utterly inappropriate to a woman on a livestream. I know for damn sure that similar things have been said to women on TV, in interviews and on dance floors across the planet, and to men too, regardless of either gender assignment or sexual preference. In fact, at any point where someone has found someone else attractive and considered sexytimes with them in their heads? This thought process will have taken place. Talking about this at a Film première for a movie aimed (at least in part) at a teenage market may not be considered a totally appropriate place for this context. Saying it whilst representing an organisation that markets a bunch of T for Teen games and are about to bring out a YT set of novels is probably a bit iffy to boot. However, for me at least, these are the least of the issues. Considering how stringent this organisation normally is for vetting questions from the public? To allow a host to be that crass and inappropriate just shows that sections of Nerd Culture are indeed still wanking in dark corners after several decades, and that someone failed to reinforce the point that professionalism beats edgy buffoonery, pretty much every single damn time.

Look, everybody does it, but nobody cares. That is of course until you mention women masturbate too and then everyone gets all flustered and doesn’t know where to look. But, I digress.

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Once we get past all the moral indignation and hand-wringing, plus the casual sexism, misogyny and cisgender backlash, the fact remains that if you’d thought first and kept your fucking mouth shut, none of this would be a problem. Every issue, on every subject, will be solved by just keeping quiet. Someone told me this morning in all seriousness that this isn’t the way forward because it means life will be boring and they’d then have to be productive, rather than trying to start an argument with anyone who wants one on social media, which is clearly far more entertaining. The bigger problem is when people’s bigotry starts showing, over everything and anything, the moral indignation that social media amplifies and exacerbates. If you’d only be like my husband and temper your responses: would the world be boring? Would an increase in productivity and general harmony REALLY be a bad thing?

Of course it wouldn’t, but then you’d have nobody to mock, and THEN WHAT?

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The only way things change is when the people who crave the oxygen are starved of it, and as soon as a fight breaks out all that happens is that certain people come along with cannisters full of O2. You can try and temper stupid, but when even the most morally strong are temptable, it ain’t happening. Then it’s damage control and the polls and the dissection of guilt, but mostly nobody cares, unless the person’s so morally repugnant they’re not considered worth saving. What does matter however, is if anyone changes as a result of the event. Can you learn lessons and move on? Will this incident make you a better person? If that happens then maybe, just maybe there will be progress. However, that’s often a very big if.

Remember kids, every day is a school day, even if you refuse to be educated.

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Of course, tomorrow nobody will care. However, those of us with long memories will stand, shake our heads and realise that however much some organisations might claim they’ve changed, nothing’s really moved forward at all in 20 years. That’s the bigger issue that still remains to be addressed.

Sort yourselves out, Dudebros ^^

 

Lemon Crush

You’ve seen the gags, I don’t need to repeat anything. The inevitability of being born is that you die. When it happens to someone you know and someone you respect in short order, that’s quite painful. My husband is in Pontefract, Yorkshire today for the funeral of one of my favourite great Aunts. I only met her once, but she was kind and generous to a fault. Then, yesterday, I saw a Twitter rumour I still haven’t grasped, despite the fact it’s clearly totally and utterly true.

It’s not as big a wrench as Bowie, because he was my generation. Prince was the guy I never really understood because he was an American. However I’d be totally belittling myself if I didn’t admit how influential he was in areas of my life. The Batman soundtrack still sticks in the memory, Let’s go Crazy is probably the song that I’d pick as my seminal reminder of his influence, but mostly I’d have to respect someone who never gave a rats ass about what anybody thought and just did his own thing. That alone’s worth the column inches and remembrances.

You can brand yourself successfully, people. You can be whatever the fuck you want to be if you have enough strength of character, and are prepared to push the envelopes of creativity. Mostly, you live your life as it comes, a day at a time, and make the most of every one.

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The most EPIC of side eyes will be sorely missed.

Stupid Girl

I can quickly sum up yesterday for me in a Tweet:

That’s not even close to the whole story, of course, but what Thursday proved to me is that people finally worked out that realism makes money. It doesn’t make nearly as much cash as wish fulfilment, just ask the porn industry. However, for the brief and glorious time that it is smart to stick a woman in the Big Chair? Let’s all embrace that. Of course, how you choose to do this will vary, and some of you may not grasp that what you think is awesome is just the same old shit, but done differently. It’s okay, that always happens.

Women aren’t Mary Sues. They’re not bikini babes. They’re not automatic receptacles for your sperm either. They are the other half of an equation that’s been refined after millions of years of selective evolutionary processes. The fact that a subsection of you people seem to think this gives you rights to treat us like the shit you just scraped off your shoe is often hard to grasp, but as this is the Internet? I shouldn’t be surprised. The fact that MY OWN SEX do this as well just goes to reinforce the point.

People are stupid. Don’t be people.

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Put it and put them away, and stop thinking this is sex, when it ought just to be business.

Thank you.