Sometimes I wonder about how me being disabled has influenced how I think about stories.
I noticed long and long ago that I like F&SF because it makes obvious and exciting the gap between disabled people and the things they need to deal with, by showing average people going up against beings many times more capable than they are. Like, from where I am to the average person seems a bit like from the average person to most of Sunnydale's night life. The world is bigger and scarier from here, and it's more interesting to wrap that in a metaphor.
But sometimes I notice patterns in my daydreams and wonder if everyone thinks that way or if it's something about being disabled and relying on assistants or carers. ( Read more... )
The thing is I can happily fantasise about say working with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark and Phil Coulson as my 24 hour protection and assistant detail, but then I think about real life assistants and it's all just awkward and no. Like how Tony promoted Pepper away from being his assistant before the kissing parts happened, because when he's her boss it's awkward no.
With none stories about working with assistants there's none stories about where the reasonable boundaries are though.
When I daydream dating superheroes, which I do, a lot, I tend to imagine staying in the Tower and watching TV. Because if I go out someplace then I either have to bring backup (assistant, someone to watch for danger and get me home) or rely on my date to do the work of an assistant. I can for the length of the story ignore that and have my character cross roads and leave the house with no problems, I just at that point am daydreaming of being someone else.
But if I'm daydreaming being a super rich person, well, if it's normal for Tony to bring a driver who looks out for danger, then that's sorted
, I can do that. ( Read more... )
I daydream about people that could help with everyday life stuff, which is pretty reasonable. But it goes fuzzy at the edges with like relationship stuff. Like dreaming about someone to set up house with, eat meals together, fit your lives together. It's just since I can't actually cook said meals, just reheat, then the meal providing relationship is going to be wonky from the get go, and I also daydream about getting a kitchen and an assistant so I can actually do cookings. And someone who can follow me around helping with doing ordinary everyday stuff like go places do things outside.
A lot of stuff like for benefits tries to draw distinctions between carers, who just do helpful things, and people you're in a relationship with like husband and wife, who get to count their finances along with yours for benefits purposes. Knowing that a relationship could swiftly mean depending financially on someone you were only thinking about shagging complicates things a lot. But with carers there's also a lot of assumption that relatives and people you're in a relationship with will do some of the work. Except that changes the nature of the relationship. In ways I have no actual experience of, because humans complicated. But I guess sometimes I want to poke those fuzzy borders in metaphor land, with maybe a plot with magic or aliens or something.
It seems like sometimes being disabled means having different assumptions about what humans do with and for each other, interdependence not independence, and what the priorities are. But it's a big fuzzy tangle in my head, not articulated clearly yet.
Also I was thinking simpler, about how romance stories, especially older ones, have an assumption that a woman is going to end up with some man the boss of her, so the search and the choice is only for finding a good Master. But now feminism so we're supposed to have lots more choices and we don't need to romanticise unequal power relations any more, except we do it anyway, if you read like almost any fiction. But if you know that you're going to end up needing someone to do a whole set of things, the story where you pay money to get a procession of strangers to help is practical but somehow unsatisfying to the monkey brain. So maybe it's ordinary to polish up the idea with warm feelings. Like care.
Or daydreaming really pretty competent superhero men doing it.
Fuzzy messy ideas, much tangle. Not very helpful. Shall ponder more.