Now you can keep tabs on everyone at Hogwarts as you sip coffee with your very own Marauder’s Map ceramic coffee cup. Sold on Amazon.
my year 8 students had to do a budgeting activity pretending they were living out of home on $2000 a month and I find this written on there help I can’t fucking breathe
We had to do this and I was partnered with a boy whose parents are a scientist and a doctor. My family spawned the book: Top Drawer Villain - autobiography of a London criminal.
First of all, we had to choose where we would shop. He wanted to buy from Booths. “We are not buying from Booths," I snapped. "Get on Asda’s website right now." His face froze.
“A-Asda?" he whispered. "But that’s where… The Lower Classes shop.”
This was a good start.
We then had to decide on a menu. We started on breakfast. “Toast," he said.
“Toast," I said. "Great. Look, Asda has its own wholemeal—”
“Warburton’s thick-slice white bread. Nothing else. With olive oil.”
“You WHAT?" I choked. "You have olive oil, on your toast, in the morning?”
He frowned. “Who doesn’t?”
“Okay," I said, "but what will the children eat?”
He gaped at me. “The children? We have children?”
We continued. All was well until it came to what we would have on our sandwiches. We even sorted out the children’s lunch - they, of course, would get free school meals. “Yes," he agreed; "if we can’t even afford Bertolli then they can get school meals on the government.”
He asked what dressing we should have on our ham. “Nuh-uh," I said. "Can’t have ham. I’m vegetarian.”
“But I’m not.”
“Yes, but we’re married and we can only afford one sandwich filler so it has to be vege—”
“Of course we’re married! You’re devout Christian - how do you think I convinced you to have children?”
He shook his head, frowning. “Well I want ham. You’ll have to put back the washing powder - I need ham on my sandwiches.”
We continued. Finally, it was dinner. “Okay," he said, clearly thinking hard; "for dinner, we can have… Chicken nuggets and… Beans?”
“Vegetarian nuggets then. And beans.”
“We need vegetables. The children have to have a balanced diet.”
“You and your children!" he yelled, and the whole class looked around.
“They’re your children too!" I screamed back.
He leapt to his feet, shaking his head and looking distraught. “I don’t believe it - I don’t believe you! I wouldn’t have your children!”
“Please," I cried, standing up also. "Don’t—”
“I want a divorce!”
And he walked out of the classroom.
The teacher stood up and stared between me and the door through which he had vanished. “I’m sorry," I whispered, "but we couldn’t do it any more. There were just too many differences - I can’t live with someone who thinks champagne is a budget.”
I can’t wait to see this guy when he gets to university.
READ THE WHOLE THING
Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.
But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.
But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.
And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.
Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance."
read this, read it right now it’s absolutely genius.
I think this is best piece on Orphan Black and Sarah that I have ever read. Seriously. I see them fandom going “Yeah, Sarah is cool, but that one time she lied/ran away/tricked people/shot someone” and I am like “shit are you even paying attention to this wonderful complex deep character?” And this just explained why that bothered me so much
American History 101
True life: I got kicked out of class in the third grade for bringing this up.
I’ve been thinking about doing something for this wonderful fandom for awhile but I wasn’t sure what it was I could do. A couple weeks ago, around the time I was close to reaching 2,000 followers (woah!), I saw someone doing a contest for prizes. I thought that was absolutely…
i have no sympathy for rich white gay cis men who think they can control and belittle women’s sexualities just because they have struggled with issues connected to theirs, none whatsoever