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Straight to the valley of the great divide

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Questions on fandom and motherhood
Mulder/Scully I love you

I've noticed, particularly since I've spent some time recently looking at tumblr (although there were a couple incidents before that, too), that generally speaking, fandom has some pretty serious and perplexing issues with the idea of motherhood. The vibes I'm getting come from a lot of places, but one example would be this quote that I came by via [personal profile] dealan311 on tumblr:

And if a woman should say she doesn’t want to have children at all, the world is apt to go decidedly peculiar: ‘Ooooh, don’t speak too soon,’ it will say — as if knowing whether or not you’re the kind of person who desires to make a whole other human being in your guts, out of sex and food, then have the rest of your life revolve around its welfare, is a breezy, ‘Hey - whevs’ decision. Like electing to have a picnic on an unexpectedly sunny day or changing the background picture on your desktop. ‘When you meet the right man, you’ll change your mind, dear,’ the world will say, with an odd, aggressive smugness.

Caitlin Moran, “How to Be a Woman”

I'm going to write a meta post on the subject at some point soon. However, before I do that, I wanted to ask you guys for your thoughts.

+++ How do you feel about the way in which TV/books/movies portray moms?
+++ How do the fandoms in which you play seem to feel about the idea of motherhood?
+++ How does being a mom relate to being a BAMF?
+++ Is there anything about this issue that I'm likely to overlook because I am a mom?

Hit me up with your thoughts if you have time. And in celebration of what I do absolutely love about tumblr, I leave you with this .gif:)


This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. If you wish to leave a comment, please do so wherever it makes you happy.

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Okay, this is a thing I don't actually have much of an articulate opinion about (yet?), but I've seen you mention this in passing and I've seen that quote before, and I'm curious--do you disagree with it? Do you feel like fandom is looking down on moms? I'm just really interested, in broad strokes because I know you just said you're going to write about it at length, where you're at right now.

I'm not sure *I* have an articulate opinion about it either, which is one of the reasons that I haven't posted a big spiel yet. I'm sort of . . . percolating?

However, in broad strokes: Yes, I do think that the choice to be a mother is looked down on in a lot of fandoms, probably some a lot more than others. I'm not sure if you've run into it, but there's a vicious debate about the epilogue in Mockingjay and the idea that Collins' choice to give Katniss kids was OOC to the max. And that's just one of the things that floats around.

Much of my curiosity about the entire thing revolves around the fact that honestly? I don't run across a lot of moms in fandom at all. I know they're out there, but the majority of the people having these debates are not parents. So it's something that activates my thinky thoughts is all.

Did that even answer your question?

Yup, that answers it! I'm not in Hunger Games fandom at all, really, so I hadn't seen that (I also haven't read Mockingjay, though, and based on what I know about Katniss from the first two I can see where people might think that is an interesting decision on SC's part, because Katniss is so vocal about NOT wanting them in the first two? But obviously circumstances and people can change, etc etc, and as long as that change is earned in Katniss then I don't see what the big deal is). I don't know. Some people want children! Some people do not! Either one is totally valid! It's always interesting to me what fandom in general chooses to be politically correct and "tolerant" about, and what they choose not to be.

Re: moms in fandom; that's an interesting observation and one I don't know if I'd ever thought about before. I feel like there are a lot of things to say here (fandom and privilege! assuming people's experiences are the same as your experiences! fandom as a girls' club and place where you generally find a lot of feminists, but what kind of feminism are we talking about, exactly! the perception that kids and motherhood are part of the "after" in "happily ever after" and therefore not something that turn up a lot in shipping!) I DON'T KNOW, but it's something to chew on while I fold this giant pile of laundry on my floor.

There are mom cops on my cop show, though. And for me personally the idea of my ship having a thousand babies makes them like, exponentially hotter to me. But maybe I'm a weirdo, I don't know.

First off, let me start by saying I do not want children. I've actually had fights with people where they think I am fucking insane and stupid because that is what life is all about but I would be a horrible mother. I know that and more than that, it just doesn't interest me. I don't need people telling me I am going to change my mind. I get it. It's one of the most amazing - if not the most amazing - things in this world but it's not who I am. I truthfully wish it was something I wanted but I don't see it changing and if it does that is for me to decide, not other people's opinions on what civilization should be like.

I have an interesting take on mothers in films/tv/movies. I don't know what is realistic to real life because when I had a mom it was during a period when no one gets along with their mom. So I see people on TV or in movies who are in their 20s and they're BFF with their mom and I do have friends who are like that so maybe it's realistic to some extent, but I don't know.

As for Castle (since that's all I play in these days), I like how they portray motherhood, specifically when it comes to Kate. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Castle's mother, but I'm not a 40 year old man. However, Kate is so fucked up from her mom's murder. I mean granted that is MURDER but when her mom died she built up walls. It happened when she was 19 and it carries her into her 30s and I respect how they handled it. I respect that she is fucked up because so am I. It makes me feel understood when I often don't.

I'm not really sure if I am writing what you're asking but I will say on the topic of fandom and motherhood that I am often left jealous by it, by things I won't experience. And yet that odd hope of knowing I could have been best friends with my mom as described by a shitload of shows is almost better than knowing I'm 28 and it still would have been shit if she was alive.

(LOL sorry, for all of that. I leave you with this icon from one of Kate's therapy sessions. Because this rambling was like that, lol.)

And again, I'm not even sure if I answered this properly. If no, I am slow.

Edited at 2012-06-03 07:53 pm (UTC)

I need to start by saying ALL THE THIS to your first paragraph. I never once in life thought that the decision not to become a parent is one that requires any defense, ever to anyone. Truth? I think people should have to defend their decision to become a parent, because the sad truth is that a huge percentage of people who are parents suck at it. Hardcore.

For the record, I still don't get along with my mom that much, love her though I do. So I think it depends on ten million factors, and were your mom alive, you guys might be best friends. I hate that you don't get to know.

Does Castle give you any idea of whether Kate wants to have kids? Is that dealt with at all? Because I know that Castle has a daughter so that relationship is explored (more than a lot of people want it to be!), but I wasn't sure if they get into it from Kate's angle.

And yes, you're definitely addressing what I'm talking about, so thank you! I'm sort of doing an opinion roundup before I go off on some big tangent about it. LOL.

I think people should have to defend their decision to become a parent, because the sad truth is that a huge percentage of people who are parents suck at it.
I agree. But I remember I was talking to my dad's caretaker about how my best friend (who got married last July) wants to wait until she's at least 30/31 before she has kids because she wants time with her husband, she wants to be able to live her life. And maybe it's because he's from another country but he was so against that, like the whole point of marriage is to have kids and I said how I didn't want kids and he thought it was terrible. Last time I saw my sister in law I said I didn't want kids and she's like Really??? You're so good with them (which made me want to laugh so hard because omg, I am so not) and I was like Yeah, no, I am good. I truly wish I wanted them because I would love to be loved like that but I am smart enough to know that it is not for me.

Um, no, I don't think they really mention kids for Kate. But I think that's because obviously every relationship she was in wasn't going to last because they weren't Castle and she had enough issues with relationships in general. I am curious if they'll explore it now that she's with Castle, at least that general conversation. But I have a feeling she'd want them because she is maternal. (Sometimes I get confused on what is canon and what is fanfiction. I also keep thinking of Olivia. Brain melting, lol.)

Man, complicated. I think... Well, I'm glad you broke it down into different questions, because it's all so tangled together that it's really hard to detangle it all.

I do think fandom in general tends to see motherhood as some sort of... I'm not sure. One part of fandom seems to see it as a reward for being a good hero? But they often seem to imagine that reward as being 'give up everything in your life except your one true love and have kids with him'.

But other parts of fandom seem to see motherhood as somehow making the female character weaker. They find it so very disappointing. And I'm not sure why. If it's just that it isn't the choice they would make so it's disappointing when characters make that choice. Or do they really see mothers as weak and somehow... giving up? Which might be influenced with how society as a whole tends to value motherhood. IDK.

I kind of fluctuate between both sides. Sometimes I really want to see characters just be who they are but also get married and have kids. (or have kids and not be married, whatever) And sometimes I really don't want my favorite characters to go the kid route at all. And I don't think it's because I don't want them to have kids so much as I think TV especially tends to not always handle it in a way that I enjoy.

Like, they need to decide what sort of show they are, and then the kids need to fit into that. If it's a show that was always focused on the action heroes, and then they have kids and suddenly everything is about the kids? Ehhhh. That's not why I was watching it to begin with. But you know, I don't feel like that happens a lot with the shows I watch personally, but I don't actually watch that much despite what it seems. Ahaha.

I also feel like motherhood is the go-to angst issue for any woman in a hero role, as if none of them has ever thought the issue through beforehand. Like every single woman has some sort of huge battle inside of her debating whether to have kids. I kind of like it when shows decide that beforehand. And then the character already has kids when you meet her, or she doesn't and doesn't want them at all. Problem solved.

Butting in for the lulz that Zoey icon causes.

Hahaha! I literally CANNOT be unhappy when watching Zoey. She's just so awesome! "I am speed, motha-fuckahhhhhh!"

It's so complicated, which is one of the reasons that I wanted to get some opinions from people who are not me before I head off on some giant spiel.

In a way that is literally cracking me up, I am drawing a blank trying to think of a show where they have given action heroes kids and then the show has become about kids. BUT we all know that I live under a pop culture rock, so that might be part of the problem. They did a super bizarre and in some ways problematic thing on XF. I mean, it was beyond canon that Scully wanted to be a mom, so that wasn't an issue. But they weirdly gave her a kid and then took him away, and after that not much of it made sense to me, because I'm with you. Decide what you want to be!

I also feel like motherhood is the go-to angst issue for any woman in a hero role, as if none of them has ever thought the issue through beforehand.

YES, oh man this times a million. It's like a woman can't have an internal debate about anything else that could possibly be interesting. Clearly, she has to spend all her time wondering, "Should I be a mom?" Oy. I feel as if they did Olivia's character a huge disservice by spending that much time on the issue of her maternalness (is that even a word? lol). Not that it was uncompelling, because Mariska is brilliant, but they did it so many times.

I don't know. As I told lowriseflare, I'm percolating.

Oh gosh, Olivia. Yes, Olivia. They did dwell on that for FAR too long. And then fandom had, seemingly, two sides. Those who wanted her to have twins with Elliot and then write reams of fic about the adorable kids talking in babytalk. And those who were just really outraged that she wanted kids at all.

And I was sort of... I felt like with Olivia they had done their work and it made sense. (Despite the fact that my personal experience has been that the women with crazy or absent mothers tend to be the ones without the huge maternal drive.) I was totally on board with the notion that she really wanted kids and yet just could not work out her personal life in order to get what she wanted.

But at the same time, SVU was just so horrible about any sort of personal development that it went on for FAR too long, and they'd just resurrect the problem whenever it was her turn to get too personally involved in a case. And it just got annoying after a while because it always felt like she'd made her decision and accepted that kids were not going to be in her future, and then they kept bringing it up again and just... she's almost 50 now, guys, time to bring it to a close, ffs.

And the worst part is, I feel like they could have TOTALLY given her a kid, whether her own or adopted, and just had it be an offscreen thing most of the time where it wasn't an issue at all. But they just refused because somehow making her happy would ruin the show. Or something. IDK. I just wanted to kneecap them all the time.

I have a personal head fanon AU where she and Elliot actually slept together in season one and she ends up pregnant and has the kid, but no one else knows except the two of them, and he's still married because he wants to take care of his, you know, FIVE kids with Kathy, but it ties them together in a weird way that everyone kind of suspects but never says out loud. IDK. I SOMETIMES THINK ABOUT THEM TOO MUCH. EVEN NOW.

And the worst part is, I feel like they could have TOTALLY given her a kid, whether her own or adopted, and just had it be an offscreen thing most of the time where it wasn't an issue at all. But they just refused because somehow making her happy would ruin the show.

Yes, exactly. There's no reason whatsoever that allowing her to have a child would have compromised her badass copness, so I'm (as always with the SVU writers) confused by that choice. I mean look at Elliot. He had approximately 453829654378956429 children, and they only let that be the focus of who he was when they needed to pull it out for some plot purpose.

I love your fanon! That cracks me up, seriously. Idk. It's a whole different discussion for me what I want to happen in fanfic and what actually makes sense in the confines of a show I love. However, I am 110% with you in thinking about fake people way too much. LOL.

I thing in general there is a sense that motherhood seems to weaken female characters (which if you think about it is kind of moronic simply because giving birth is the closest a person can come to dying without actually dying). Society at large does the same thing, but also demonizes women who choose not to have children, so basically my feeling is that women simply cannot win. It is in the same way that Hillary Clinton was knocked out of the presidential race because she cried during an interview but Boehner is revered as being in touch with his emotions when he did the same thing on multiple occasions.

Getting back to motherhood, there is also a portion of probably every show that features a mother that shows just how much fucking shit a mother has to do just to get herself and her kids through the day. So in that sense, she is not being portrayed as weak, but she is also not subject to the same glory as the husband may be for bringing home the money (if she is a stay at home mom). Similarly though, mom's who do all of that AND work are vilified because they are obviously neglecting their kids by not being home when they get home from school, etc. A woman's self worth is determined by her ability to produce offspring, and women who do not have kids or who cannot conceive are viewed as substandard women. You also get the whole "I'm getting older I need to be pregnant ASAP" thing which you NEVER see a male character think about.

This is all coming from a person who was told by a then close friend that her life will be more meaningful than mine because she wants to have children. Which is bullshit but also still really hurtful because women have bought into the bullshit ideals almost more than men.

In conclusion, I think the declaration of a woman as a BAMF has very little to do with whether she has produced children and everything to do with how she handles her life choices overall.

*This message has been brought to you by a mind addled by 4 hours of Evidence lectures.

Argh, don't even get me started on the hypocrisy of expectations for women vs. men in political campaigns. When it's acceptable to make crappy comment about female ankles (because clearly the condition of your ankles somehow relates to your ability to run the country), I see red rage that makes me incoherent.

Obviously one of the reasons men don't angst about being fathers when they're turning 40 is that those damn swimmers apparently swim forever;) But yes, it's not even as if you see men having debates about whether they'll be too old to properly engage with their kids or what have you.

LORD, I can't even believe your friend said that. I mean I can? I just don't think anybody can say what's going to be meaningful for anybody else, ever, which is one of the reasons that I don't think most people should have kids. My personal opinion is that most people have them because it's like um . . . *searches for metaphor* . . . putting jelly on the other half of the sandwich or something. People consider it part of the life process, and really that's just ludicrous. The effing world has seven billion people.

However, I am digressing a touch here, because the point I'm working on in my brain is that truly, I feel as if the choice to be a mom is somewhat hated on in fandom, and I'm trying to figure out why.

In any case, I love that you said this:

In conclusion, I think the declaration of a woman as a BAMF has very little to do with whether she has produced children and everything to do with how she handles her life choices overall.

I feel as if the choice to be a mom is somewhat hated on in fandom, and I'm trying to figure out why.

I think it is part an ingrained perception women can't be strong/tough/good at work/etc. if they are a mother (she can't do it all and be good at all of it), and part disgust that she gave into the societal expectation that women become mothers. And perhaps part dislike for how becoming a mother inevitably changes a character both internally and externally. New experiences bring out new sides of a character and sometimes change old ones.

I'm going to do a bit of a drive-by on this now, but I may have more thoughts later.

Motherhood is a complicated issue in society, generally. On the one hand, everyone is all 'Yay, mothers make the world go round!' and 'I'd just like to thank my mom for all the sacrifices she made so I could be an Olympic athlete/movie star/musician.' And therein lies part of the problem: moms are portrayed as endlessly self-sacrificing for the benefit of others. Which, for women, can be problematic because it feeds into all sorts of stereotypes about women. So the sacrificial nature of motherhood can be interpreted as at odds with the BAMF nature of heroines.

On the other hand, one of the defining characteristics of BAMFs is self-sacrifice for the greater good. It is curious that sacrifice for an ideal or humanity in general is perceived as okay for female characters, but not sacrifice for the character's own spawn. There is, however, an argument to be made that a BAMF would choose not to have children because of the high degree of likelihood that she will be killed on any given day, and so she protects her hypothetical children by not having them.

There is also a tendency in the feminism that I grew up with to devalue everything about motherhood and homemaking etc. in favour of paid work outside the home. I get that this was a necessary distancing in order for women to have the opportunity to work outside the home. However, now I think we can step back and acknowledge that lots of paid jobs are as mind-numbingly unfulfilling as motherhood can be some days, so it's not necessarily a step forward for anyone to force women back to a minimum wage job six weeks after having a baby. The distancing has also resulting in the strange situation where women get longer leave for a broken leg than for having a child. Just, what? The residue of the distancing is that female characters are somehow less feminist if they have children.

Another thing is that there is a growing tendency for people equate pets and children. I'm okay with people treating their pets as children, but children should not be treated as pets. They are not accessories, they are not status symbols, they are human beings with their own desires and personalities. When we as a society see children as pets, then we stop making an effort to collectively support the production of future citizens and see it as an individual choice equal to the decision to, say, run a marathon. Running a marathon is about the adult doing that. Having children is, or should be, about the child. Letting a parent take a sick day to look after a sick kid or leave early to attend an event supports the child, not just that adult's 'lifestyle choice.' In the children-as-annoying-pets paradigm, strong female characters are more easily led OOC. Does Renee really need a little Sophia to dress up and parade around in order to be fulfilled? Or is she more likely to choose to run a marathon?

In fandom, children are often used to express the fulfillment of a ship. To me, babyfic is usually either really unrealistic or supremely boring, because babies and new parents are pretty boring. (Some of my favourite fics are about Jack and teenage Kim, because I think teenage Kim is more interesting.) So I personally would rather see other ways of fulfilling a ship than the characters having a baby, but I don't think it's because motherhood or fatherhood weakens a character. I just don't want to read endless descriptions of a spy being flummoxed by snaps on a onesie. (Even though I have written my fair share of babyfic.)

I personally have run into lots of mothers in fandom, although I can see why it would be weighted towards younger single women, simply because of the amount of time available to participate diminishes with greater responsibility, whether that is due to motherhood or career. If anything, I see more mothers than career women in fandom. I don't see Hilary Clinton having a lot of time to write fan fic, for example. That's not a value judgement. If people have free time, they are entitled to spend it how they want.

Threadjacks like a mofo

Another thing is that there is a growing tendency for people equate pets and children. I'm okay with people treating their pets as children, but children should not be treated as pets. They are not accessories, they are not status symbols, they are human beings with their own desires and personalities.


I have a grad school acquaintance and she and her husband call their dogs their "kids", as they don't have kids yet and they love their dogs to an inordinate degree. And I think it's a little (okay a lot) cooky and not a choice *I* would make, but it's no SIN, because it only heightens the level of the pet and hurts no one in the process. Lessening a human child to an accessory or pet is a completely different story that has such a detrimental impact.

I think in large ways, fandom does that with kids. They're there at random times when its convenient and they exist as mere status symbols, but their personalities and individual needs and desires are rarely explored. And you're so RIGHT that the focus is often only on how the adult sees the child and how the adult is impacted by the existence of this little person, rather than acknowledging and showing ways in which this little person IS, in fact, a unique PERSON. I just so hardcore agree that this approach is misguided and doesn't properly invest in these kids and fails to grasp the concept that they are our future citizens.

If anything, I think television should be modeling what good parenting entails so as to set an example. Instead, I so often have watched it fall into the same mistakes that are so common among today's parents. The problem is, we'd need people like you and Shana to be WRITING the shows or engaged in the kind of media that gets pop culture's attention, because I think so few people KNOW what good parenting means. It's a sad thing when the media is sending us these messages about children and their purpose/meaning. In many ways, it encourages adults to treat their children in ways that are inconsistent with the kind of child-rearing that encourages high self-esteem and self-worth.

I can think of very few shows that get this right. In fact, the only shows coming to mind that actually invest in the personalities of children and give them screen-time in their own realm are sit-coms, and I mean. Come on. Those are comedies and no one really takes them seriously anyway.

I'd call for change if I knew how to go about doing that.

Anyway, just had to chime in and say YES to your comment about the children-as-pets phenomenon. Ugh.

Re: Threadjacks like a mofo

In fact, the only shows coming to mind that actually invest in the personalities of children and give them screen-time in their own realm are sit-coms, and I mean. Come on. Those are comedies and no one really takes them seriously anyway.

Parenthood! I actually feel like Parenthood would be super interesting to talk about in this context, now that I think of it, because of the multi-generational parenting and how many different kind of ladies are depicted.

*wanders away to make more toast*

Re: Threadjacks like a mofo

Well you know so many of my thoughts on this already, A. I mean, you give me all these points like, "Wow, you treat your kids like humans!" And when you first said that I was all, "Wait, as opposed to?" I get it more now.

However, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that it's probably not possible for television to model good parenting on the whole, mainly because television has to make money and good parenting isn't what people want to watch. People don't even want to watch (or do) it in real life! It's hard and it's boring and it takes four hundred tries to get one (maybe) good response.

You know one show that didn't do a whole lot of it, but really got it right when it did? Thirtysomething. I still remember crying my eyes out over the ep where Elliot bought Ethan this rocket set and Ethan wound up in the hospital because he handled it carelessly, and there was so much put into that storyline, children as real humans and the fact that making poor parenting decisions can have catastrophically real consequences. It was just beautifully done. I also feel as if that show, more than anything else I can recall seeing, dealt with the mixed feelings that real mothers have.

Because the truth is that it's very easy to find motherhood both the best and the hardest thing you've ever done.

I can't quite process all my love for this comment. I'll give it a shot though.

See, the entire reason I brought this up is that I'm very aware of my own super mixed feelings on so much of the subject, and I enjoy dialoguing with people who can be more rational. Rational isn't my strong suit.

Given that I consider being a mom to be one of the hardest things to do on the planet, it's certainly not at odds with BAMFiness for me, although I agree that if your job is like, constantly life threatening, probably you're doing any and all potential children a favor by not creating a situation in which they're likely to be left motherless by the time they're two.

As for the pets as children and vice versa paragraph, I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry, or do both simultaneously. I'm so freaked out by people who treat animals as children, and honestly it kind of makes me do a squidgy dance, but it's certainly harmless. However, the flip side of that is not harmless. I could rant forever about people who absolutely think of kids as accessories, as these little extensions of them like a nice purse or a fancy car.

Let's face it. The entire reason so many children are poorly parented is because they're born to people who don't want to make any life changes in order to accommodate having created small humans. And that's just . . . total bullshit. If you don't want your life to change at all don't have children. It's pretty simple. And if you choose to have children, then realize that if you're going to be a good parent, you will spend the rest of your life making accommodations (they change, sure, but they're always there) as a result of that choice.

I'm gonna leave the babyfic part alone, because I think my thoughts on that are even more complex. Most likely it's just another place where my opinion is weird.

Where do you meet all these fandom moms? Because I can't lie. The entire reason I'm bringing this up is because, as I said, sometimes I feel super alone out here in the world (I don't mean you, of course, but you are not the typical person I run into in fandom!). And it's awfully hard to contemplate going up against the masses.

My cat was like my kid until I actually had a child, and then it was just a cat again. So I understand the impulse to treat pets as kids, as long as people realize that Rover is never going to grow up and find a cure for cancer or pay taxes. Also, I can't simply fill a bowl with food and go out for the evening at a moment's notice. Well, NOW I can, because A's old enough to babysit, but before, no.

But, this says it all. It's a joke, but I'm sure there are people who think it shouldn't be.

Yes! Expecting that kids won't change your life at all is missing the point. If it's not going to change your life, then why do it? There's also the fact that one does tend to fall in love with one's children and WANT to spend huge amounts of time with them, which is hugely underestimated. They're always portrayed as a burden, something we can't wait to get away from. Which may be true sometimes, but as soon as I'm away, I miss them. It's so complex.

I don't really know - my thoughts on babyfic depend hugely on who is writing and how it's handled. And are significantly coloured by some truly terrible BN babyfic I've run across lately. SRSLY, people. He can build a bomb out of baking soda and a paperclip. He's not gonna crumble at the idea of snaps vs. Velcro.(Or whatever.) But, if it's an honest examination of how a character might react, I can be down with that.

There were lots of moms on Armbell, and quite a few in the BN fandom on ff.net. Not so much on LJ for some reason. LJ seems to skew to the college crowd.

(Deleted comment)

Re: Unpopular opinion alert.

LOL. Well my long answer to that is very . . . long. Very very long. So I'll skip the part of it that deals with whether I find being a BAMF or being a parent either interesting or mutually exclusive.

Do I think it's fascinating to watch people change diapers on TV? Absolutely not.

What I'm really mulling here is the undercurrent I see, particularly in fandoms that skew younger (and thus are likely to contain way fewer people who are actually you know, parents), of this weird sort of superiority about the choice to not have kids. Not having kids is a 100% valid choice that I fully support. Having kids, if you do it for the right reasons, is also a 100% valid choice.

And I also bristle when a metric fuckton of 20-year-olds who still live with their parents wax eloquent about what it means to be a mom.

You already know my thoughts on this but In short, I think this question of fandom's response to motherhood as portrayed in the media can be summed up as: there is no wrong way to be a woman but society refuses to accept this truth, and so we see the debate play out in how individuals react to representations. Oh the joys of art.

(See now I really want to hear your thoughts on Aeryn Sun when/if you ever sit down and make it through the series).

and so we see the debate play out in how individuals react to representations

Yes! And see here's the thing. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing at all wrong with loving characters who hit your specific kinks or line up with things that work with your own personality. But to go from there to the idea that characters who do not are somehow wrong is problematic for me, to say the least.

It's pretty much, in the end, back to the part where I don't wanna be told about parenting by a bunch of 20-year-olds sitting on their Hello Kitty pillows. But that makes me as bad as them, right? :P

I really do wanna watch Farscape! I do!

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