I’m going to London in December for 4 days! Short time, obviously, but still exciting. I’m traveling with The Boyfriend and we’re staying with family friends. Boyfriend has never been to London before and I’ve only been once for like 3 days years ago, so this is very much a new experience for us.We’re limited by budget in terms of what we can see and do, so does anyone have recommendations for things to do in London in December which don’t cost much money?
I'm keen to look at things because one of my possible options post-graduation is finding a teaching job in London or elsewhere in England, since it's hard to find fulltime work as a teacher in Australia right now and my EU citizenship opens a lot of doors. So it's a possibility I'm considering, albeit a small one (I'd prefer to get a job in Sydney).
The reason I'm posting here is I feel like I might be in the market for a new fandom. I don't want to abandon the MCU entirely, since i do still care about the characters and I've met great people through the fandom (plus I have my modding duties at Be Compromised), but it's also a fandom prone to a lot of wank and I don't see that wank getting better with Civil War approaching, plus the white dude-centric nature of it seems to be getting worse. Figure skating OTP-ing is fun (their wedding is next week OMG), but with the new season approaching I don't fancy the anxiety of watching them compete and potentially lose (especially since their main competition is a team I don't particularly care for).
Given this, I'd like something else to balance things out, but I can't really predict what fandoms will grab me. Every fandom I've ever been in has taken me by surprise. I keep meaning to watch Sense8 but ehhhhh, it doesn't really look like my thing (or at least, the way people have been pitching it doesn't- telling me "there are hot guys kissing" isn't actually a way to get me interested).
God I wish that character would go away and never come back.
(and I realise a lot of my flist like him, and I apologise, but his fandom is obnoxious as fuck, and that manifests in me hating the character and wanting him to go away)
I'd find all of this much less annoying if it wasn't blatantly obvious that the large chunk of the bi!Steve fanon is only interested in using social justice rhetoric to prop up their white dude ship.
/thus endeth today's rant
(laughter was quickly stifled by my realisation that as a teacher, I am now The Man, and kids will complain about me oppressing them on tumblr)
Uh, she wasn't. She really wasn't.
She brought up the possibility in a moment of downtime (ie., not a battle) while she was still in shock from reliving a traumatic moment. Yes, it was a badly written scene, yes, the whole thing could have been done so much better and I wish it had been, but fandom is sticking to this narrative of Natasha being ready to drop everything and run off with Bruce when that wasn't the case. Character development isn't actually a straight line. Characters are allowed to experience moments of self-doubt and hesitance, hell, white male characters do this all the bloody time (I'm Spider-Man! No, I'm no longer Spider-Man! Now I'm Spider-Man again!).
When Natasha is actually presented with the possibility of leaving everything by Bruce, Natasha pushes him off a cliff, which fandom bizaarely overlooks. The only character who is actually ready to run away in the middle of a battle is Bruce, yet somehow that doesn't reflect badly on him in fandom's eyes?
There are a lot of complaints about Natasha's treatment in AoU, some of which I agree with. But this one is so inaccurate, it's... really weird.
(today's rant prompted by this, an article which is far more shallow than it thinks it is)
Edit: Also, that article claims Buffy's final song in 'Once More, With Feeling' is about how bored she is of killing vampires, which, wow, way to misinterpret a storyline about PTSD and depression. :/
Me: Well, my prac finishes next week, after that I don't know.
Student (face falls): Oh...
Me: *internally bouncing*
Of course, the main thing is that students respect you and pay attention during the lesson so they actually learn something, but it's a little added bonus to know that at least one student likes you as well.
BUT, one thing I did appreciate about that scene was that for the first time in the MCU, it allowed Natasha to be angry and upset over something that was done to her as well as the things she's done. Clumsy dialogue aside, as a woman with PTSD I appreciated that, because if you're a woman who has PTSD as a result of a highly gendered crime,* society often expects you to either a) magically get over it, or b) keep quiet about your trauma so others don't have to be burdened with the reminder that hey, society treats women pretty shittily.
And that sucks.
I've been thinking over this for a while now, and AoU brought this up again. Fandom has some shitty double standards when it comes to any character who isn't a white man experiencing trauma and/or recieving emotional support. One thing I've noticed about the MCU movies is how Natasha gives a lot of emotional support without recieving much in return. While this suits Natasha's self-sacrificial style of heroism (which is very much in keeping with her comics counterpart, I think), it's also a bit troublesome that the one female member of the group is the one taking care of the dudes' feelings without recieving anything back. Clint and Fury seem to be the ones who give her the most emotional support. Steve has trouble looking past his own rightiousness (sorry Steve), and Bruce can't get out of his own head long enough to even express sympathy when Natasha reveals a very personal trauma.
Part of what makes this so frustrating is that if Natasha had been given emotional support, fandom would call her weak and pathetic. There is no way to win here.
This role of Natasha as the caregiver who doesn't need caring about extends beyond the movies and into many of the roles given to her in fanfic. How many fics are there where all Natasha gets to do is be the Supportive Best Friend to a white dude? I've lost count. It's not only Natasha, either. There are probably even more fics where Sam Wilson is the Supportive Best Friend and Therapist to Steve and/or Bucky, with no mention of Sam's own canonical trauma and recovery. The same fandom that focuses on white male pain sometimes to uncomfortable degrees (see all the fetishising and infantilising of traumatised white men) grants characters who aren't white and/or male none of the same consideration.
There are a million fics about this or that white dude needing hugs and a blanket and unconditional love, and more importantly, getting those hugs and a blanket and unconditional love. But if you're not a white man? You'd better grin and bear it, honey. You wouldn't want people to think you're not a Strong Character.
It's by no means confined to MCU fandom, either. I've seen countless examples of a female character being called pathetic if she has a very natural and believable reaction to trauma, going all the way back to Buffy's PTSD arc in BTVS. A more recent example is Korra from Legend of Korra. I lost count of the number of posts I saw calling Korra pathetic or the writers unfeminist for having Korra experience PTSD after a series of traumatic events where she was nearly murdered. Personally, I loved that we got to see a believable trauma and recovery arc in a children's cartoon- it was surprisingly mature writing, and handled well. As a woman with PTSD, seeing people call the show unfeminist for having the female lead go through a recovery arc felt a bit like a slap in the face (never mind the fact that this kind of arc is par for the course in male protagonists, without anyone declaring said protagonist weak).
I feel like this carries the underlying message that in order to be a Good Woman, you must suffer in silence, and that's never been an attitude I'm fond of.
But in the end, it's yet another example of the way fandom prioritises the stories of white men by only granting white men a full range of human experiences.
*Obviously women aren't the only victims of sexual assault, but society's perception of sexual assault positions it as a Thing That Happens to Women. And much as I wish Natasha's sterilisation had been left out of AoU entirely, forcible surgery of that nature is also a highly gendered narrative, and one that should be told, when handled the right way. There's a reason The Handmaid's Tale is a feminist classic. But AoU was not the place to tell that story.
It's going well so far, except I keep looking around to see who the kids are talking to when they say "Miss," only to remember they're talking to me. :P
Edit: and then I feel like an idiot because I realise I left my roll (attendence sheet) behind. :/ I hope I can find it again on Monday.
Except now I feel like writing the MRA douches a thank you card, because OMG MAD MAX: FURY ROAD IS EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED FROM AN ACTION MOVIE. It's what I was hoping Jupiter Ascending would be, but while Jupiter Ascending failed to grab me, Fury Road is what would happen if every action movie and road movie and car chase movie and post-apolocalyptic movie had a drunken orgy and produced a baby. It's a two hour visual orgasm that obviously was a real labour of love by everyone involved, attempts at various points to have a plot, hints at a highly detailed mythology but doesn't linger because who has time for that when there are EXPLOSIONS.
Oh, and it has 12 female characters.
I'm not going to say those characters are super well-developed because they aren't really, but the male characters are even less developed so while Fury Road is no feminist utopia, it's a lot better than the majority of action films and that alone makes it worthy of watching.
I'm not going to get fannish about it because character-wise there isn't enough to work with except maybe Charlize Theron's character, but I am going to see it again with The Boyfriend and bathe in those magnificently ludicrous car chases.