Looks like this essay was needed, so I went ahead and did it. Not sure I said everything I wanted to say, but I tried.
So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in…
This is long too, but if you expect us to read all of your essay I don’t think you should have a problem with reading another long essay. Some bolding for emphasis.
"Writing a Mary Sue is empowering to women!"
You are mistaken if you think that Mary Sue cares about female empowerment. Mary Sue only cares about empowering Mary Sue. Her incessant need to hog the spotlight means she tramples over characters, timelines, plots, romances, deaths, and births, just so she can exist. And her treatment of strong canon females is particularly shabby. At least the male love interest for the Sue only gets a fanfic lobotomy. But the unfortunate female canon characters… well, let’s take Hermione, for example.
This idea of the “empowering” Mary Sue-style should be instantly dispelled the moment one reads one’s first Suefic about Hermione turning out to be adopted. Suddenly, she’s rich, she’s a pureblood, and by the way, her appearance changes completely and she has huge boobs and smooth hair and all those hallmarks of fantasy women built to cater to male desires.
Yes, let’s take this strong female character and turn her into a male fantasy. Yes, very empowering indeed.
"Mary Sues can do anything! That makes them strong women, right?"
Unlike the Suethors, we understand that just giving a character heaps and heaps of power for no reason doesn’t make that character strong. Neither is treading on the personality of a well-developed canon character just to puff up Sue’s ego. It doesn’t make the Mary Sue better, or as special as the author thinks she is. After all, any author can rain a golden shower of gifts on a pet character; why does that make the character great?
What strengthens a character is allowing him or her to earn power for herself by virtue of the conflicts that arise in a story. Even having a character try to earn power and fail honorably is more empowering than just imbuing a character with incredible abilities and watching her take out ridiculously enervated villains. Strength of character in a literary sense has absolutely nothing to do with a character’s abilities; it has to do with the consistency, believability, and integrity of the character’s portrayal within the story.
Ultimately, Mary Sue is bowling-with-bumpers safe as a way to experience a story. She is unrealistically beautiful, inhumanly powerful, and always gets rewarded for everything she does with only the barest of struggles. She can’t fail. She can’t get humiliated. The story itself will dutifully remove all real obstacles from her shining path. And a character who needs her author to do all that work for her is not a character who has any sort of power. On the contrary, that character is weak.
"Mary Sues are good role models for women!"
Are we talking about the same Mary Sues who force their way into the main plotline by humiliating or killing off strong female characters that were already there?
Are we talking about the same Mary Sues who come from warped canon females and receive not just sooper speshul abilities, but physical transformations to make them more appealing to men?
Are we talking about the same Mary Sues who are lily-white, silky-haired, green- or blue-eyed, and anorexic-thin with huge breasts, because the Suethors honestly can’t imagine that their real selves would be attractive to a male hero, so they give themselves imaginary extreme makeovers to win their idol’s heart?
Are we talking about the same Mary Sues who have mad fighting skillz, extraordinary powers, and supposed intelligence, yet who insist on having the sole reason for their existence be forcing a hot guy to fall in love with them?
I thought so.
“By mocking Mary Sues, you are anti-feminist!”
All too many Mary Sues ascribe to the basest tenets of the patriarchy (heterosexual marriage is the true way to happiness, women need to be rescued, men are allowed to be territorial over “their” women as long as they’re hot, etc.) How many Mary Sues join the Fellowship only to have Aragorn or Boromir save them in a dramatic manner from a danger that a so-called empowered female could have got out of herself? How many Mary Sues fall in love with a wholly unsuitable, even dangerous man (e.g. Sweeney Todd, Severus Snape, the Phantom of the Opera), and expect the power of Twu Wuv to turn him into the perfect mate and father so she can have a perfect life? How many Mary Sue stories depend on a man to complete the fantasy? We don’t see how any of this is advancing the cause of feminism.
Incidentally, we find this argument to be in poor taste. Hiding behind centuries of oppression is not a valid answer to storytelling skills in need of improvement.
“Calling ‘Mary Sue’ is misogynist!”
Yes, every bit as much as calling a character “a Judas” is anti-Semitic.
There are those who believe that sporking Mary Sues perpetrates a culture that oppresses young women trying to empower themselves through their writing, and that the term itself is offensive. We disagree. Actually, it is the Mary Sues who are mostly the products of a misogynistic mindset. You know how everyone criticizes rail-thin models because they threaten the self-image of preteen girls? A Mary Sue is what happens when that negative self-image crosses over into fanfiction, when a girl is convinced that in order to be special, she has to be a goddess… instead of just being herself. We’re convinced that if more girls were satisfied with who and what they are, we would have fewer Mary Sues to kill.
By the way, most of us are female, too. And if you really want to find out whether we hate ourselves and the idea of females holding power, the best way is to read our stories and analyze the portrayal of the female agents. Please feel free to find all the assassins who are weak, passive, incompetent, under the control of men, depressed about their self-images, in need of protection, and/or incomplete without romance! (We’d be interested to know where they’ve been hiding.)
“You think all OFCs in fanfiction are Mary Sues!”
“You think ANY strong and capable woman in fiction is a Mary Sue!”
“The term ‘Mary Sue’ has become too broad, so you shouldn’t use it!”
First, we have our own definition to set the record straight. Second, “Mary Sue” may be a term applied too generally in fandom, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used at all. I’ve lost count of how many times people misuse words like “dumb” or “irony.” That doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t go on using them properly—or that we should get rid of those words just because some people misconstrue their meaning.
“You criticize many more stories by female authors than by male authors!”
It would be prejudiced of us not to. Almost all fanfiction writers are female, so the percentage of badfic written by females is going to be higher than the percentage written by males. We are an equal-opportunity sporking society.
“You only criticize stories with female characters in them!”
Here is where I am pleased to inform you that we are a multi-purpose organization. Just look at our bad slash section. Most of the characters involved in bad slash are male, and we cheerfully squeegee them out of the plot continuum just as surely as we would any meddling OC. Also, it’s entirely possible for a male OC to be as problematic as a female one, and male OCs who are will be terminated with just as much prejudice as females; see Gary Stu.
“Someone called a canon character I like a Mary Sue! They’re wrong. Therefore, all people who call characters Mary Sues are wrong!”
Please check your logic and try again.
And, on the opposite end of the spectrum…
“I’m a slash author! That means I don’t write Mary Sues!”
Just because both of your characters are men does not mean you are not a Suethor. This is particularly the case when so many slash authors make one of the male characters much more feminine than he was in Canon, even to the point of making him pregnant.
Case in point: this fic was reported by Potcsues. Her comment? “[The badfic author] also writes LotR bad slash. Apparently, she feels as though every character that Orlando Bloom plays must be feminized, defiled by a canon character (who would, if not possessed by Suvian demons, never do such a thing) for the sake of TEH ANGST, rescued by the nearest hot guy, and carried off for lots of steamy man-love.” If Will Turner is suddenly Commodore Norrington’s kept boy, and receives flowers from Jack Sparrow, and has “milky skin” and “crystals glittering in his eyes,” and characters drop what they’re doing left and right so they can be with him… how is he not a Mary Sue?
When artist David Jablow found a vintage 60′s notepad called Do It Yourself Doodler, complete with what appeared to be the unfinished drawing of a nude woman on each page, he couldn’t help but dive in and complete each one with hilarious results.
Like a fantastic Mad Libs for artists, the suggestively drawn woman, missing her breasts and butt, was obviously intended for more naughty vintage purposes, but Jablow had a better idea. He completed each page of the book with scenes straight out of the pulp fiction pages of the past, including bar room brawls, fist fighting sea divers and Hollywood starlets.
You can now buy a version of the book on Jablow’s site and start doodling away yourself.
women of mythology - the amazons
they could not be dominated or controlled by any man. warriors known for their ferocity and fearlessness. a tribe made up of women, proud, strong and free from the bonds of men. amazonians.
grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters. they fight as men do, raid as men do, kill those that foolishly stand in their path, save for a few to use as slaves to continue their line of warrior women. men wear the shackles in their world, men are the weaker sex not they and they prove this in battle, in how they survive.
men mock them when they should revere them, women fear and do not understand for they’ve never felt the empowerment of holding ones own destiny in their hands. for they are not chattel to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. they are not only worth the dowry that their father can give them. they are women, beautiful in their strength, intelligence and determination. they are the amazons.
fun things to do in front of nerdy boys
intentionally mix up zelda and link
refer to anime as “japanese kids cartoons”
pronounce pokemon as pokey-mon
respond to everything they say with “oh yeah my baby brother likes that!”
I am a nerdy boy and I assure you the only reactions you would get from this are crying or outbursts of rage
you act like your tears aren’t EXACTLY what i want
Cutting off hair in ancient Asia (Japan, china, Korea & possibly some other Asian cultures) symbolizes being banished or rejected from their home. In the more modern age that is now, cutting long hair into a short cut means to forget the past, leaving the old and starting anew.
I WASN’T READY LMFAOALMOST THOUGHT THIS WAS AN INSPIRATIONAL THING..SHOULDA KNOWN BETTER
well it started out like that…
let’s think about how men never have to settle for the “geeky” and “nerdy girl” and how there are dozens of movies where the ugly little duckling is transformed to this gorgeous woman so that the male character can be with her
and how there are dozens of movies where women are taught to look past looks and see that those “nerdy” guys are actually really great
fun fact: “nolo” is latin for “do not want” so if someone says yolo you can say nolo and they’ll think its just a stupid comeback but in all actuality you’re speaking latin which is classy as shit so haha the jokes on them
and it means “(you’re) embarrassing” in finnish so it’s double joke on them