“We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.”—
“See, Rowling largely operates Harry’s generation in a clear system of parallels to the previous generation, Marauders and all. Harry is his father—Quidditch star, a little pig-headed sometimes, an excellent leader. Ron is Sirius Black—snarky and fun, loyal to a fault, mired in self-doubts. Hermione is Remus Lupin—book smart and meticulous, always level-headed, unfailingly perceptive. Ginny is Lily Evans—a firecracker, clever and kind, unwilling to take excuses. Draco Malfoy is Severus Snape—a natural foil to Harry, pretentious, possessed of the frailest ego and also deeper sense of right and wrong when it counts. And guess what? Neville Longbottom is Peter Pettigrew.
Neville is a perfect example of how one single ingredient in the recipe can either ruin your casserole (or stew, or treacle tart, whatever you like), or utterly perfect your whole dish. Neville is the tide-turner, the shiny hinge. And all because he happens to be in the same position as Wormtail… but makes all the hard choices that Pettigrew refused the first time around. Other characters are in similar positions, but none of them go so far as Neville. None of them prove that the shaping of destiny is all on the individual the way he does.”—Emily Asher-Perren (via flipenddo)
Flatworms are hermaphroditic. All flatworms can inseminate and be inseminated. These flatworms also have two penises each. Flatworms are sexual. That is, they reproduce sexually by finding a partner with which to trade genetic material. (Asexual creatures do not trade genetic material, they reproduce by making copies of themselves.)
A flatworm reveals its two penises (in white):
What is interesting about this clip sociologically (in case you’re not already intrigued enough) is how the narrator describes what the flatworms are doing.
Let’s first suppose that it makes little sense to attribute human emotions and motivations to flatworms. Let’s also suppose that narrations of animal behavior are often going to tell us a lot about how we think and only a little, if anything, about what’s going on with the social lives of invertebrates.
If you watch the clip above, you’ll notice that they explain the behavior not descriptively, but metaphorically. Flatworm mating behavior is like war and wars have winners and losers.
The narrator explains that flatworm “sex is more like war than love.” Worms are “swordsmen” who are “penis fencing.” (Mix metaphors much?) They carry “double daggers” (penises). And “the first one to make a successful jab, delivers its sperm.”
Notice how the narrator genders the hermaphroditic flatworms. Because they have penises they are “swordsmen.” Apparently their equally functional capacity to be inseminated is eclipsed by their dangerous daggers!
And notice, too, how they describe the flatworm who becomes inseminated as the “loser.” The “losing flatworm,” the narrator explains, “bears the burden of motherhood, committing valuable resources to having offspring.”
Sperm on the “loser”:
Now it may be true that being the “mother” involves the use of resources. But even so, we would never call the females of non-hermaphroditic sexual species “losers” would we? I mean, they both get to pass on their genetic material, and doesn’t that make them both winners from an evolutionary perspective?
No doubt it seems reasonable to call the functional female of the pair a loser in a sexist world in which childbearing is defined as a disability (according to the Americans with Disabilities Act) and child raising is defined as non-productive (it garners no wages or benefits and cannot be put on a resume). Gosh, being non-hermaphroditic, human females are losers by default. They don’t even get to play the game.
So sexism is one way to explain the wildly offensive characterization of the inseminated flatworm as a “loser.” But it also may just be that, in choosing a war/sports metaphor to describe flatworm behavior, they inevitably had to characterize one or the other as a loser. This is a great example of the folly of metaphor. Metaphors can be used to make something unfamiliar make sense by comparing it to something familiar, but it also runs the risk of forcing the thing being explained to mirror the thing you use to explain it with.
It’s simply sloppy. And, all too often, it results in projecting ugly realities with which we are all too familiar onto those things we don’t really understand.
Can we just like imagine queer students using Lee Jordan to come out like "AND GRYFFINDOR SCORES A POINT! BY THE WAY PADMA PATIL IS A LESBIAN AND SHE'S READY TO MINGLE" and padma is like ayyyyyyyyyyy step right up ladies
“The problem is that you don’t just choose recovery. You have to keep choosing recovery, over and over and over again. You have to make that choice 5-6 times each day. You have to make that choice even when you really don’t want to. It’s not a single choice, and it’s not easy.”—Marya Hornbacher (via heartsofclearestglass)
I am having trouble figuring out how he isn’t everyone’s favorite. Like, are ya’ll blind? He is SO MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE than the other four. I know I’m outside the fandom but this just seems obvious to the nth degree. He looks like he’s set to star in a Bollywood version of ‘The Outsiders’ and that is hot as a mother.
Especially if you’re a grown person who has just so happened to inconveniently become sucked into knowing things about One Direction, how can you not be drawn to Zayn first and foremost? I am worried about you if you do not immediately find him the prettiest. Like, actually worried. Are you okay? Do you need to talk? Can I get you some water? I’m joking. Of course, I’m joking. You can have any favorite you want. You are wrong, but I respect your right to be so.
And you certainly don’t have to take an outsider’s opinion as Gospel. I get it. Maybe there are hot things about the others that I’m just not well-versed in them enough to see. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Or maybe you need to get your eyesight checked. Thesis stated.