20 Mar 2010

kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
I can forgive a lot (okay, up to a certain degree) when it comes to storylines between a man and a woman, because I know an author can only push the gender structures so far before the average reader would start to balk. That's just a fact of how we, as people, internalize the gender constructs of our society. (This goes for most societies, not just Western, so I don't think it's a massive over-generalization.) What I can't forgive is when an author is trying to tell me a character has a dominant personality, but picks the wrong way to illustrate this and ends up writing the character as a jerk, instead.

Recently I was reading a story by an author who usually has a decent sense of characterization; her plots tend to be straightforward, but she has a good handle on pacing. That combined with a deft hand for the psychology can make up for a lack of complex plotting, but then, I suppose not everyone reads for unexpected twists. Plus, this author usually does a pretty good job of exploring the psyche in power exchanges, whether these are the implicit kind or explicit as in BDSM. But a recent release by the author had me gritting my teeth. One tiny -- but oft-repeated -- detail underlined a subtle but crucial behavior that is not 'dominant', so much as a sign the character is a damn prick.

It's all in the nickname.

Main female character, we'll call, hmm, Elizabeth. A solid name, not that unusual. She introduces herself as Elizabeth, and in narrative and in dialogue, is referred to as Elizabeth through most of the story. (I believe there's even a snippet of dialogue where her manager calls her by her full name, as well.) In walks Mister Dominant, who's been wanting a chance to convince our dear Elizabeth that he could be The One.

And then he calls her Bethie.

No, she corrects him, it's Elizabeth.

He just smiles... and spends the entire rest of the story calling her Bethie.

Dear reader, I wanted to punch him. )

It is, in a nutshell, privilege, and I can't stand it, nor can I respect anyone who plays that game. It's nothing more than belittling or demeaning another as the sole route to making oneself feel greater in contrast. That's not being a Dominant. That's just being a goddamn asshole.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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