beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I'm kind of annoyed of my brain.

Like, I'll think of something really hot

and then I'll spend at least an hour thinking it through to Horrible Consequences, like when the villain in question is inevitably as awful and manipulative in relationships as out of them, or goes full on abusive, or maybe serial killer.

Because clearly this is how one wants every brain story to go!

I know from like academic fandom that romance as a genre has a high degree of focus on asshole men, because it's all about *fixing* them. By being such an awesome self that he just, like, completely revises his behaviour. So now all that strength actually has a soul, and you get a happily ever after.

... or not, because certain parties don't think they're writing a romance, but whatever, that's what fanfic is for.

And this is a good fantasy, and many bazillions of people agree with me, and it fuels like an entire corner of publishing.

... and I can't seem to just leave that story to be that story, I have to spend at least as much time on the misery thoughts, as if they're more 'realistic' and I can't let myself get away with deluding myself.

It's about time travellers with super powers, why is 'realistic' grimdark trying to get all over it?

This is a form of catastrophising I had not really anticipated.

But considering it as another way my depression gets all over my writer brain it makes a kind of sense.

But it's also, like, when you notice a toxic pattern and you want it gone and you try and correct your brain? Because a pattern of attraction to RL people that fit my usual fantasy type would be, you know, fatal. Bad plan. But also it's that thing with noticing there's more story about redemption for white boys with no redeeming features than there is story about people of color. Like, some of these guys, they are not our precious. They're toxic privileged murder on legs, and should not be given an inch. Like how it's hard to get some people to notice Ward is a bad guy or Loki attempted genocide. But one side of the problem there is the not noticing? Like, noticing and setting out to fix it, that's a whole different story.

But I still feel like my brain should spend more cycles on actually liking the good guys.

Except if a story presents someone as 'good' then their bad behaviour tends to go unexamined, even if it's really pretty bad. So I'll focus on that. But if a story thinks someone is the 'bad guy' then it can overlook stuff that seems like pretty solid reasons, or plain logical behaviour. So I'll focus on that as a place to start.

... also, lately, bad guys tend to be more in my age range.

... *sigh*

But just, my brain is trained to tie itself in knots of feel bad about the hot thoughts.

Because it would go Horribly Wrong.

But they are thoughts and I am the boss of them so I think they should quit it and let me go back to being so awesome all the supervillains just give up the bad parts for a chance to date me.

Date: 2017-07-05 02:42 am (UTC)
gehayi: (writing it down (ravemasta))
From: [personal profile] gehayi
I know from like academic fandom that romance as a genre has a high degree of focus on asshole men, because it's all about *fixing* them. By being such an awesome self that he just, like, completely revises his behaviour. So now all that strength actually has a soul, and you get a happily ever after.

Oh, is that why people like romances with creeps? I never got the appeal. I always figured that it was just as easy to fall in love with a decent person as a creep, so why not go for a decent person? You could have problems that weren't integral to the relationship (realistic ones like poverty, illness, jobs, criminal charges, etc., paranormal ones like ghosts and curses, or, to switch genres, supervillains). The relationship wouldn't be boring just because the guy WASN'T treating the woman like scum.

And this is a good fantasy, and many bazillions of people agree with me, and it fuels like an entire corner of publishing.

Personally, I think it's a dangerous fantasy, because it encourages a lot of women and girls to accept abuse in the hopes that "they can fix him, Mama!"

I blame Harlequin/Mills & Boon for a lot of this, because they boast that ALL of the guys in ALL of their lines are "alpha males." Me, I have no interest in alpha males. (Well, being aro ace, I don't WANT a romantic or sexual relationship. But if I was going to read about a romantic or sexual relationship, I'd rather read curtainfic about a perfectly lovely couple and the inconvenient alien invaders who keep disrupting their lives and their cuddle time than the following from Mills & Boon submission guidelines:

A hero who will command and seduce. There's nothing in the world his powerful authority and money can't buy… except the love of a woman strong enough to tame him!

I don't want a hero who will command or seduce. I want a hero who does the housework without making a big deal of it and who isn't afraid to cry when he's unhappy. I also don't want someone with powerful authority, as to me that just screams "Republican bastard" and frankly I get enough of those snots in the news. (Plus I tend to think that if a millionaire isn't in the office at all hours instead of gallivanting around the Caribbean or Europe for months on end because he's rich, dammit, he's not earning his salary and his board of trustees should fire his sorry ass.)

I mean, my idea of a fantasy would have been Christian Grey getting arrested and jailed for the multiple crimes that E.L. James blithely described him committing. With a side dish of his being called out for his homophobia.

But also it's that thing with noticing there's more story about redemption for white boys with no redeeming features than there is story about people of color. Like, some of these guys, they are not our precious. They're toxic privileged murder on legs, and should not be given an inch.

This is something I keep asking authors about. Where are the consequences? Why isn't anything bad happening to this guy when he does such horrible things? Would you want someone to act like that toward you? So I'm thrilled that you're asking awkward questions and taking the story to its logical conclusion. Good for you.

Date: 2017-07-05 04:59 pm (UTC)
peasant: sweet pea (Default)
From: [personal profile] peasant
I think we use stories to examine bad things as a safe sandbox to invent ways we could cope and build resilience for when bad things do happen in our lives. I think this is probably more useful than harmful.

And I think we watch villains and outsiders more closely because we need to watch them in real life. We do this because sometimes they must be stopped, and we will only stop them if we notice them. But I think we also do it because it is amongst the rule breakers and the risk takers that new opportunities can be found, so sometimes outsiders are the route to success. I think we are designed to find those who live on the fringes more fascinating while the ordinary good people can be left to get on with things by themselves.

Date: 2017-07-17 03:22 pm (UTC)
baronjanus: man looks at screen saying "remarkably specific porn" (0 remarkably specific porn - smbc)
From: [personal profile] baronjanus
Same in many ways, though not exactly all the ways

It's about time travellers with super powers, why is 'realistic' grimdark trying to get all over it?

Because it's not about time travellers with super powers, it's about *people*. And people should act as people - they rarely do, in media, but that's why so much media makes me rage. My problem, and yours too, is standards.

And: standards in politics makes you realise that the bad white guy is in fact shitty irl, while people with less standards get to enjoy because they can't connect the media to rl - they *are* connected, but a lot of people don't mind. Like the thing about how it's the heroine's responsibility to fix the guy. That should be her mission. Bah to that, but also, it's satisfying to read, if you don't know all the shit it gives real women.

If the thoughts don't go away, then it's the intrusive, compulsive thing, then there are ways to handle in and you can seek them online. But if it's not like that, if it's just about being a writer-in-the-mind, just about the plots, then maybe hmm, maybe when it starts to go from nice to bad, try to go all the way back to nice - to justice, to balance. Like my other username says, spank the villain ;) Be punished before being fixed.


I am very bad at verbal right now. Maybe I try again later.

Date: 2017-08-16 12:17 am (UTC)
baronjanus: I was searching for the answer, it turns out it's rock and roll. Hugh Dillon Works Well With Others (Default)
From: [personal profile] baronjanus
...Several different ways in which the Love Interest can change the Alpha Ass. The first is the old boring shit about how with a woman's love she can tenderly persuade him. Fuck that noise. Now there's the way where she beats him at his own game because she's just ultra cool like that and he must succumb (power dynamics are hottest when there's role reversal). Or she wins over his evil with the power of team work and general family/team attitudes, because alpha assholes are necessarily lonely and she isn't. Notice I say "she" but let's face it, the same applies to slash.

There are probably more ways but that's the ones I can think of right now - through "love"/sacrifice, through power/cunning, or through team/family.

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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