i had to present my preliminary final paper topic for my fan culture and celebrity class to a room full of people who knew very little about game of thrones. this was my resulting power point (with me using lots more words then what is shown, obviously, but this gives you the general idea). i‘m sure my actual paper will end up on here eventually and we can see how much my argument has grown!!!! it’s not due for a whole week tho, so everybody calm down.
Advertising’s image of women. Watch this and get your mind blown.
This needs to stop.
I am not female but I really don’t think that matters. EVERYONE needs to see this.
asian westeros au: china as the north
the wolf on a field of ice and stone. ice, hardened by turmoil. stone, dark with age. they say when you go north, you never truly leave it. the cold, when it comes, stitches spikes upon the skin. this is the land of winter, of a war-hardened people whose blood spill not in rivers but cascade in hail. they say when a northerner dies, the land gets ever harder until no southerner can till the plains and tame the mountains. the age of heroes had been a patchwork of dynasty upon dynasty, each emperor crowned by snowfall, beget with hearts of ice. the qin dynasty unified the greater families and when barbarians threatened their delicate peace, they had built a wall; han breathed upon a swell of new territory and marked the silk road to trade with the south; tang brought the golden age, commerce and renown. they had been the most loved until the death of the recent lord and the coming of the mongols. those born with ice in their hearts refuse to thaw, until their feet too have rooted upon the infertile earth. to pray to the gods is to pray to the past, and every father and mother that leaves the earth only thickens the stone until houses become temples, and palaces are carved with the heavens. they say the north is for the north, and the cold takes care of its own.
Usagi is a great character. We watch her grow from a clumsy, lazy, self-centered teenager into a fearless goddess of justice who takes down the force of chaos itself. But the great thing is? She doesn’t stop being the girl we met back in chapter one. Sure, she’s indomitably powerful and her teardrops turn into the universe’s most potent energy source, but she also likes video games and donuts and napping and she gets crappy grades on tests because instead of studying, she was playing video games and eating donuts and napping. She whines about having to study for high school entrance exams, then stops a Texas-sized asteroid from slamming into Tokyo. Also, she was totally having sex with her star-crossed-reincarnated-prince of a boyfriend.
J.K. Rowling once made a really interesting point about the Narnia books (which I have not read): “There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.” Takeuchi avoided this in Sailor Moon with such deftness and grace that I’m only fully realizing it now, at 22. Usagi and Mamoru were totally boning—there are all kinds of dreamy, gauzy artbook pictures of them together in bed or discreetly covered in feathers, not to mention the penultimate scene of the manga, where they wake up in a (seriously awesome) bed together all naked and cuddly. Moreover, check out the illustrations of Usagi in lingerie and just straight up topless that Takeuchi busted out for her self-published artbook. Usagi is pure-hearted, but she isn’t “pure” in the archaic sense. She’s sexual. And I love that she can be both. She’s the amaranthine avatar of goodness and love and serenity in the universe—she is every cherished ideal we hold of what it means to be a “magical girl.” She stands for truth and freedom and hope. She wears floaty pastel clothes and enormous pigtails and her weapons are covered in hearts and stylized angel wings. She’s often drawn with angel wings herself! And she has sex. It doesn’t make her dirty, or suddenly inappropriate as entertainment for young girls. She doesn’t lose her power or her magic. She is a multifaceted young woman who loves sweets and comics and vanquishes the forces of evil and also has sex.
And the thing is, this kind of attitude in entertainment helps everyone. It’s not just very sexually active girls who need characters like Usagi, or even just girls in general. I was a prudish kid who didn’t have her first kiss until the age of 18 and this particular aspect of the manga has always stuck with me and informed my attitudes about sex. Whoever you are, however you handle your sexuality—it never makes you dirty. You can be queen of the mahou shoujo and have sex and wake up the next day to slaughter the wicked hordes with your bunny-bedecked Magic Rainbow Sparkle Sword. You can do both. You can be both. One does not invalidate the other.
I really love this analysis! It’s really beautiful!