Originally from Washington, D.C., Pannavati, 59, is the first African American woman ordained in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. And she is the only African American female abbot of a monastery. (x) (more about her here)
The “Now What?” Months are here! In 2014, we’ll be bringing you advice from authors who published their NaNo-novels, editors, agents, and more to help you polish November’s first draft until it gleams. Author Wendy Mass guides you through big-picture revision… complete with handy questionnaires:
Ah, revision. My favorite part of the writing process. It’s my favorite because if I’m at this stage, that means I’ve typed “The end.” Even though it’s only the first of many times I’ll write those same words at the end of the same manuscript, it’s still a huge milestone.
You’ve already done the hard part. You put your butt in the chair and wrote a novel! Here’s what comes next:
The bodies of two Houston women, a lesbian couple, were discovered near a dumpster in Galveston County, Texas. Share this:
They had a 5 year old child together too.
Unacceptable and horrific. We demand justice. We demand safety.
moments when you desperately wish someone(s) was born in an era without a plumbing system so they can drown in their own shit
Jessica stealing Sam’s hoodies.
Jessica sleeping in Sam’s sweatshirts.
Jessica nudging Sam awake because he’s hogging the covers.
Jessica kicking Sam out of the kitchen because he can’t cook.
Jessica finding out that Sam’s ticklish and taking full advantage.
Jessica smiling because Sam made a stupid joke and laughing anyway.
Jessica threatening to cut Sam’s stupid floppy hair because it keeps tickling her forehead every time she kisses him.
Most of the characters in my fantasy and far-future science fiction books are not white. They’re mixed; they’re rainbow. In my first big science fiction novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, the only person from Earth is a black man, and everybody else in the book is Inuit (or Tibetan) brown. In the two fantasy novels the miniseries is ‘based on,’ everybody is brown or copper-red or black, except the Kargish people in the East and their descendants in the Archipelago, who are white, with fair or dark hair. The central character Tenar, a Karg, is a white brunette. Ged, an Archipelagan, is red-brown. His friend, Vetch, is black. In the [Sci Fi Channel] miniseries, Tenar is played by Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk, the only person in the miniseries who looks at all Asian. Ged and Vetch are white.
My color scheme was conscious and deliberate from the start. I didn’t see why everybody in science fiction had to be a honky named Bob or Joe or Bill. I didn’t see why everybody in heroic fantasy had to be white (and why all the leading women had ‘violet eyes’). It didn’t even make sense. Whites are a minority on Earth now—why wouldn’t they still be either a minority, or just swallowed up in the larger colored gene pool, in the future? […]
I think it is possible that some readers never even notice what color the people in the story are. Don’t notice, don’t care. Whites of course have the privilege of not caring, of being ‘colorblind.’ Nobody else does.
I have heard, not often, but very memorably, from readers of color who told me that the Earthsea books were the only books in the genre that they felt included in—and how much this meant to them, particularly as adolescents, when they’d found nothing to read in fantasy and science fiction except the adventures of white people in white worlds. Those letters have been a tremendous reward and true joy to me.
So far no reader of color has told me I ought to butt out, or that I got the ethnicity wrong. When they do, I’ll listen. As an anthropologist’s daughter, I am intensely conscious of the risk of cultural or ethnic imperialism—a white writer speaking for nonwhite people, co-opting their voice, an act of extreme arrogance. In a totally invented fantasy world, or in a far-future science fiction setting, in the rainbow world we can imagine, this risk is mitigated. That’s the beauty of science fiction and fantasy—freedom of invention.
But with all freedom comes responsibility. Which is something these filmmakers seem not to understand.
Rutina Wesley looking at Gina Torres the way we all feel about Gina Torres.
You can see the stars in her eyes. That is the only way to gaze upon Gina Torres.
To say that femininity is unconditionally ‘rewarded’ shows a very limited understanding of how femininity functions within our society. Of course, there is backlash against women who do not conform to feminine ideals, but at the end of the day, femininity is still ridiculed. Femininity is only rewarded if you remain strictly loyal to the rules set forth by a patriarchal society. If your femininity is in any way self-expressed, or otherwise deviant from a man’s idea of desirability (see: ‘Trends men hate’), you are not rewarded, your autonomy is questioned instead.
That’s why when I see posts like ‘makeup isn’t empowering, you’re hurting other women’, I can’t help but be skeptical. Makeup is a tool that, if used correctly in the eyes of this patriarchal society, is rewarded. But their definition of ‘correct use’ is using makeup to bring yourself to a ‘blank slate’, of using makeup in an undetectable way to change your appearance to their aesthetic. At the same time, you’re expected to achieve this aesthetic without any effort (or be ridiculed and dismissed as high maintenance; because who wants a woman who spends time on herself, and is kept busy by basic human activity?), and to maintain it 24/7. We all know this is impossible.
I genuinely enjoy makeup as an artistic outlet, but that’s not what’s being argued here. Can makeup be empowering? Some say no, based on the fact that the ‘confidence’ makeup gives us is actually an aesthetic requirement by patriarchy. That’s absolutely true. Putting makeup on in accordance to those standards is not empowerment, but a survival mechanism (and taking part in this survival mechanism does not mean you’re hurting other feminine people, so don’t put the blame on those who do).
The empowerment lies in the realization that, though these tools were thrust into our hands, we can use them as we see fit. We were given makeup so we could fit within a certain aesthetic, but we still figured out how to become autonomous under those restrictions. When I put on mint-colored lipstick, when I darken my already-thick eyebrows, when I wear nails likes talons, when I draw on eyeliner thick enough to be eyeshadow, I am not meeting the aesthetic requirements spelled out for me. I have, with tools originally meant to cater to the male gaze, regained my own sense of expression. I have taken them and used them ‘incorrectly’. I make men look away, I make them frustrated, because they spelled out exactly what I had to do to be treated with an ounce of human respect, they gave me the tools to achieve that ‘respect’, and I still figured out a way to dismiss their desires, and to present myself in a way that I liked, while they didn’t.
My makeup does not cater to the male gaze, it flies in the face of a system that had no intention of ever treating me equally, regardless of how I presented. My makeup is an extension of my autonomy of expression, something that men are threatened by. And yes, in that, I am empowered.