slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. ((default))
Have picked up Homeland again. I can't stay away from these characters, as much as other things about the story piss me off. But I'm beginning to wonder: why is it that Salvatore's fans think he writes these great fight scenes? How can it be that someone can describe a fight scene in such exhaustive, boring detail and I still don't know who's where or what the fuck's happening?

And Mr. Salvatore? Love? You don't poke someone with scimitars. Scimitars are a slashing weapon, not a thrusting one.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
We, humans, we already have spider goddesses. They don't teach us evil, they don't teach us to murder for gain treading carefully in the shadows not-getting-caught while we turn on the weakest among us and tear them apart.

They teach us to spin and weave.

Spinning and weaving is women's work. It was from the beginning; all evidence suggests that women invented it. (Women seem to have invented all the things that made civilization possible--language, tools, seed cultivation. This is beside the point.) Men took it over eventually, as is their way, and made it a thing done in guilds for profit; but women still spun and wove at home, with the flax they had grown in their little back gardens and the fleece of the sheep and yaks and alpacas they themselves chased in all weather up the heathered hills, over the mesas, down the mountains, through the snow. They spun and wove and made beautiful, useful things, and when they remembered they thanked the spider goddesses who had taught them how.

Spiders are women in all our stories, from Kokyanwuhti to Arachne with her loom all the way down to Charlotte's Web. Spiders are wise and skilled women who teach us to make useful things and to do it beautifully, to do it mindfully, sitting and moving the hands and the shuttles and talking and laughing, fingers flying, happy, loving women sharing, sitting still and moving together, telling stories both true and fictional, telling the news, telling the traditions, remembering together what is important and making together the communities that humans were made for, making together the fabric, both literal and figurative, that warms our hearts and bodies, that protects us and brings us together as a people.

The stories are in it. The love is in it. In the thread of the fabric that women spin and weave is our history, our journey as a species into what we have-are become-becoming, still moving forward still connected down through the thread of the years to the first woman who twisted a puff of fiber in her hands and the spider goddesses.

This is important to me. Probably it is more important to me than it is to other women who do not work with fiber. I do not spin or weave myself; I wish to learn, but I have not found the opportunity. I knit. And knitting is a form of weaving too. Sitting still and moving the soft strand of yarn flowing steady over and under my fingers around the needles sliding back and forth and interlocking, it's a kind of magic, the magic of spiders, turning a string into something much more, something amazing, something useful and beautiful, and it doesn't stop being magic because you find out how it's done.

When women made stories about spiders, they were the wise and loving goddesses I have described.

When men make stories about spiders, they become Shelob and Lolth.

Is it a coincidence, do you think, that men have also turned "spinster" into something a woman does not want to become?

Men took it over eventually, and made it a thing done for profit, as is their way. Then they made it a thing done by machines, so the rich could have many more clothes and fine carpets and blankets and draperies than anyone ever could need, but the poor women still spun and wove at home.

Kokyanwuhti still whispers in our ears. It is dangerous, and she makes herself small so she cannot be seen, but she is still with us. The men will tell you that spiders are Lolth, and the black widow, who kill without thought or for pleasure or gain, because men never could see beyond the end of their own noses, or understand what it might be not to have their kind of mind. Don't believe them. Our Grandmother could kick Lolth's ass any day of the week with eight hands tied behind her back, but she doesn't have to. We know what spiders are like.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I wanted to hold off on this post until I had actually finished Homeland. Couldn't do it; it was burning in me to post, so much so that I only got four hours of sleep last night because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm only about halfway through it--it's an ebook, I can't take it around the apartment with me, and that's cutting down on my reading time. So bear that in mind.

Here at the beginning let us greet and acknowledge the elephant in the room: the black race of elves are the evil ones. This white girl can probably not say anything new about that, and will probably miss a lot of shit about it, so we'll move along.

I cannot help but experience the drow in a way other than I'm sure Salvatore intended. I am a feminist, and so any culture that has the women in charge and doing woman-centered things (let me take a moment to savor fuck yes birth magic right at the beginning and she's on a birthing stool not lying back in a bed male doctor hovering over her telling her what birth is and how to push) is going to get some fist-bumps from me. Then there is the whole Slytherin aspect: do whatever works, but if you get caught that's a big fail and you will be punished.

Now, I hasten to add, when Slytherins are actually setting the rules in the first place that actually makes no sense. But when you live in a world run by Gryffindors and/or others who will not understand the nuances--or when it turns out the rules are fucking stupid--it can be important. But that's a discussion for the post on Slytherin social justice so we'll move along again.

And here comes the big but.

But my enjoyment of this culture on a feminist and Slytherin level is, I guess I will call it, tainted by the obvious assumption that I am supposed to experience this culture as evil.

Now, the drow are evil. No getting around that.

And we're walking, and we're walking... )
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
..."for which to stay tuned", I know. Shut up.

So I am working up a couple of things to post about over the coming week. There'll definitely be another ADD Blogging soon; I want to talk about "I'm not ADHD", "I didn't know you were ADHD", that whole thing.

Thing #2: moar Twilight blogging. I think I am sufficiently recovered from the last time I did it, y'all. I'm gonna wade back in again.

And speaking of problematic books I'm reading, when I finish Homeland I'm going to have to post about the drow. Because y'all, as interesting as this book is, and as much as I'm enjoying it on one level--on another, the whole thing is an MRA fantasy. So stay tuned for that.

Finally, at some point in the future, expect to see the definitive post on The Slytherin Case For Social Justice. (Yes, there is one.) I am tired of people giving me shit about being an activist and identifying with Slytherin when any fool can see--well, all the stuff I'm going to put in the post.


slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)

October 2012



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