Summer of Supervillainy

A secret hideout, a werewolf serum, and a dream

11,717 notes

fickleobsessions:

Data is my robot forever boy. His fight for autonomy is not well-praised enough. He had to fight to prove his body was not property. He had to fight to prove his child was his own. He had to fight to make most strangers think of him as a person, not a thing. He was fucking awesome.

(Source: trekgate, via blue-author)

1,820 notes

Trying to explain trigger warnings on Tumblr to my uncle who served two tours in Vietnam is hilarious. He says they don’t even know what trauma means if they actively surf websites that could potentially trigger them. “Why the heck would anyone want to do that”, he says. “That’s like if I went and bought a case of fireworks and fired them off inside my house. Those people are idiots.”

witchyneeshydoomstrangles:

alexandraerin:

emotionaldiscord:

Please dear God, or anyone who has the power, please make more people read this. 

As someone with PTSD I fucking loathe tumblr trigger warnings. 

Sure, they don’t buy a bunch of fireworks and set them off in their houses for funsies, but I’ll bet money the OP’s uncle and the commenter above go out into the world, where there might be fireworks (or backfires, or sudden releases of hydraulic brakes, or any number of things that might trigger PTSD).

You pretty much have to. The world is where groceries live. The world is where support networks are found. The world is where doctor’s appointments take place. The world is where everything happens.

And… funny thing… the internet (Tumblr included) is part of the world, a subset of it. In some ways, it’s easier to control what you see on the internet and in some ways it’s more wide open, but there’s no sharp divide between the internet and “the real world”, especially not for people who came of age after the early 90s and more especially still for those who haven’t been able to find adequate support outside of it.

If it doesn’t make sense to you that someone with PTSD wouldn’t keep setting off a bunch of fireworks inside their house, then congratulations: you understand the purpose of trigger warnings. What was your question again?

Trigger warnings are less like setting off fireworks in your house and more like people who organize firework shows saying “HEY SO YOU KNOW THERE’S GOING TO BE FIREWORKS GOING OFF IN TOWN AT 8PM”

And weirdly enough

they do that.

(via blue-author)

2,407 notes

lookatthisfuckingoppressor:

Here’s the thing: most people don’t alter their oppressive behavior (especially the sort that gives them power or profit) because their heart grew three sizes or whatever.

Historically, oppressive institutions and individuals change when it becomes unsustainable for them to continue acting the way it has. This can take the form of direct action, public outrage, boycotts, or force.

This can also be accomplished by making oppressive attitudes and behaviors have social repercussions. If everybody out there who claims to be anti-oppression started treating bigots like the walking pieces of shit they are, we’d see some real change.

So don’t give me your “why can’t we all just get along?” garbage. No, we can’t. There are people out there who don’t want to get along. They want to maintain and perpetuate the systems of oppression that grant them privilege. Until we stop that from being a feasible option for them, they’ll keep up that behavior.

So if the rhetoric of some anti-oppression folks frightens you, good. Bigots deserve to be scared. They deserve to feel the same anxiety oppressed people do every day. However, unlike women, PoC, queer folks, the disabled, and the poor, they have a way out.

(via blue-author)

40,654 notes

deducecanoe:

persephone-reigns:

jackpowerx:

nudityandnerdery:

Let’s take a moment to talk about this. I mean, because first off, “Tell cars not to hit kids.” Well, yeah, we do that all the fucking time, idiot. Ever seen signs like these?



We have classes and signs and laws about it, and people are constantly reminded. So your argument only works if we put up signs everywhere reminding assholes not to rape. But you’d rather talk about how rape victims have it coming to them.
But the dumbest part of this crap? Roads exist for cars to drive on. Children need to be careful to cross the street because they’re entering into an environment that exists specifically for something that is dangerous to them. The only way this shit is a valid comparison is if you think that bars, parties, and the world in general exists specifically for men to have sex with women. And I gotta break it to the guys who support this stupidity- your dicks are not that important. So knock off this bullshit and stop excusing rapists.

A+++ Commentary!

In addition, people don’t hit children on purpose. Tragic accidents happen, a driver looks away for a second, a child darts out into the road after a ball. Rape is not an accident. You choose to disregard someone’s “no”, you choose to coerce, or you choose to have sex with someone unable to consent (or rape in any other way). Accidents happen, but rape isn’t one of them.

Also, legally, pedestrians have the right away. Whether or not they are in crosswalks. 

deducecanoe:

persephone-reigns:

jackpowerx:

nudityandnerdery:

Let’s take a moment to talk about this. I mean, because first off, “Tell cars not to hit kids.” Well, yeah, we do that all the fucking time, idiot. Ever seen signs like these?

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We have classes and signs and laws about it, and people are constantly reminded. So your argument only works if we put up signs everywhere reminding assholes not to rape. But you’d rather talk about how rape victims have it coming to them.

But the dumbest part of this crap? Roads exist for cars to drive on. Children need to be careful to cross the street because they’re entering into an environment that exists specifically for something that is dangerous to them. The only way this shit is a valid comparison is if you think that bars, parties, and the world in general exists specifically for men to have sex with women. And I gotta break it to the guys who support this stupidity- your dicks are not that important. So knock off this bullshit and stop excusing rapists.

A+++ Commentary!

In addition, people don’t hit children on purpose. Tragic accidents happen, a driver looks away for a second, a child darts out into the road after a ball. Rape is not an accident. You choose to disregard someone’s “no”, you choose to coerce, or you choose to have sex with someone unable to consent (or rape in any other way). Accidents happen, but rape isn’t one of them.

Also, legally, pedestrians have the right away. Whether or not they are in crosswalks. 

(via blue-author)

53,096 notes

inurashii:

ocelotspots:

leupagus:

jeffl95:

leupagus:

jeffl95:

leupagus:

skyline-through-the-window:

goddess-:

leupagus:

This is so beautiful.

what the actual fuck.
are we shitting on this guy because he wanted to go and just talk to a girl. I mean yeah, this is a clear intentional overreaction for the sake of comedy. but are girls really like “ear buds are awesome for defending against asshole guys bugging me.”
I didn’t realize someone walking up to you to say hi made them an asshole or meant they were trying to get into your pants, my apologies.

There’ve been a few of these comments, so I’ll just address this one real quick: nobody’s shitting on anyone (despite the rather graphic claims of the clearly intentionally overreacting dude who posted this). We - as in women - are sharing a profound truth about social interactions while being in public. Namely, that the overwhelming majority of times that men (not “someone,” men) walk up to us to say hi, they are trying to get into our pants. And this is based on experience. This is not based on us being full of ourselves. This is not based on one bad interaction amidst a plethora of good ones. This is us saying, “we’ve had numerous interactions in public with men we do not know, and we’ve decided that the number of times that we have a nice, pleasant conversation does not outweigh the number of times we have had a gross or unpleasant conversation. So we’ve decided to take steps to put up boundaries rather than risk the gross or unpleasant conversations.”

I mean, go and read through the reblogs of this - women talk about men who have literally ripped the earbuds out of these women’s ears in order to ask them their names, or to “just say hi.” Do you really think that men who do this are just being friendly? Then why don’t we hear about this happening to men from women invading their space and bothering them? Why don’t we hear men complaining about other men doing it, or women complaining about other women doing it? Doesn’t the fact that these experiences are all going one way - that they are all women talking about the times that men have done this to them - register with you at all?

And do you really think all the women who are, in your view, shitting on this guy are doing so out of some bizarre desire to be mean? Or is it possible that they are recognizing a type of man that they have had numerous run-ins with and have learned to defend themselves against, and they are happy to hear that their defense is working? Is it just barely possible that women are laughing at this man because they are glad to see a confirmation of what they’ve long suspected, which is that male strangers approach them, it’s rarely out of a genuine friendliness but rather a desire to fuck her?

Because heres’ the thing: you’re pretending that all this guy wanted to do was “just talk to a girl,” but that’s total bullshit based on what the poster actually said - he has a crush on her, he was planning a “cold approach,” he was angry enough at being prevented to write a very badly-written rant about it. He did, in fact, want into her pants. And a woman has every right to shut that down at whatever stage she damn well pleases.

Also, if this guy was going for comedy, he deserves to be made fun of for being such a shitty comedian.

Its rants like this that make nice guys scared to approach women. Women wonder why actual nice guys never ask them out, here’s why, we’re terrified of being lumped in with the assholes who ask you out, stop assuming all men want the same thing, its not a majority of men, its a majority of men who are ballsy enough to approach. And why do the nice guys never approach, just when we work up the nerve to ask you out, youve gone and ranted about how all guys wanna do is fuck you. And we lose our nerve again.

OK listen close here, because you’re not getting it. If. You. Want. To. Hit. On. A. Complete. Stranger. Based. On. The. Fact. That. You. Think. She. Is. Attractive. Without. Knowing. Anything. Else. About. Her. Then. You. Are. Not. A. Nice. Guy. And. You. Are. In. Fact. One. Of. Those. Assholes.

Maybe. I’d. Like. To. Get. To. Know. Her? Maybe. I’m. Not. Just. Trying. To. Fuck. Her? MAYBE. I’m. Willing. To. Take. A. Chance. On. A. Stranger?

And that’s the WHOLE PROBLEM, because you expect your willingness to take a chance on a female stranger to be the end of the debate. You’re completely ignoring the fact that women get to decide whether they want to take a chance on a male stranger - and you’re also being incredibly dishonest about what “take a chance” means for men and women. For you, “take a chance” means “risk that my sexual interest in this woman will not lead to a relationship.”
For that woman you’re asking out, “take a chance” for a woman involves weighing the risk that you will beat, rape, assault, or kill her.
This conversation isn’t happening in some mythical land where rape and assault never happens, or happens to all genders equally. This is the real world, where women (both cis and trans, btw) are at a disproportionate risk of violence from men. And we have been taught over and over and over again that if men are violent towards us, often we will be blamed for it. So while you’re deciding if you want to date the barista at your coffee shop, she’s deciding if turning you down will mean that you’ll throw that hot coffee she just poured for you in her face.
Approaching a woman you don’t know and asking her out right away is a huge red flag, because by asking for a date without any other information about her, you have indicated a number of things:
  1. you think your sexual interest in her entitles you to find out more about her and determine whether or not you are interested in her as a person
  2. you do not think of her as a threat in any way; of the two of you, you believe yourself to be the more powerful person, and thus you are risking very little by starting a relationship with a stranger
  3. you believe the onus should be on her to refuse, even though you have given her no reason to believe you will accept refusal gracefully, because
  4. you are willing to break the social contract (that being that people leave each other alone in public places) merely because you are sexually attracted to her
So with all that in mind, she has to decide whether or not to agree to a date with you, a man she doesn’t know. And as a bonus, she gets to draw on her entire experience as a woman who has been in this situation before, and can compare men who have done similar things and recall how they have behaved. In the majority of cases, men who approach female strangers in public settings in order to ask them out behave badly. So why should she believe that you’re any different? What evidence does she have that you will be safe to be around?
The reason nice guys don’t ask women out like this is because they’re nice guys - genuinely nice guys - who understand that there are many, many different ways to meet women and date and form relationships. They’re not scared by rants like this; they agree with them.

I’ll just leave this here: http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

wait but

Women wonder why actual nice guys never ask them out

They don’t tho. They really just don’t.

For that matter, actually nice guys don’t have trouble getting dates. If you’re a nice guy then presumably you’d—

oh what’s that? You’re not actually nice? You’re a slut-shaming rape apologist?

Oh I didn’t realize that you intended to capitalize Nice Guy. Now I understand.

4,002 notes

Hopeless Hyperbole: The Internet Debate Over Disney’s Frozen

medievalpoc:

Sooooo, I don’t know if you knew this but Disney made a movie a while back based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Here’s a link to the original 1845 text. This tale was written in Denmark, but does not necessarily take place there.

Because, you know. It’s a fairy tale. Fiction.

Frozen is a film written and produced in the US for presumably American audiences, but Disney is loved by many all over the world, and shown/seen by people in a measurably global scale. Disney created a fictional story based on a work of fiction. They used The Snow Queen as source material, but the created films bears little resemblance to Anderson’s original tale, as is par for the course with most Disney productions.

They chose to depict all characters who speak and have names as what Americans would immediately recognize and categorize as white people. This was disappointing to many Disney fans of color-yet another film made in which no ones looks like them. A few fans made some artwork depicting some of these characters with brown skin.

And the internet exploded in outrage.

"But it’s a story from Denmark!" "That’s not historically accurate!!!" "You already have enough movies!!" "How DARE you!" Even worse, a group of indigenous Scandinavian people called the Saami were also dragged into this debate, and photographs of them were slung all over the internet by people NOT Saami, and their appearance and their race picked over with a fine-toothed comb, being lobbed as "proof" their race on either side, all because Disney chose character costume designs and certain other elements of Saami culture to show in their film, without any mention of their origin. Words from actual Saami people were drowned out in the uproar, for the most part.

The outrage over anyone suggesting the cast of the film could have been more diverse reached shockingly violent levels. Before anyone could blink, death threats were being lobbed at artists and just about anyone making cultural commentary involving the film.

In fact, there’s an entire page at knowyourmeme.com dedicated to discrediting anyone criticizing the film, it’s casting, character creation, or depictions of race therein. Almost every pop culture blog remotely related to any of the topics have covered this “debate”.

And I have received over 200 asks on this topic. Once again: I have received over 200 asks on this topic. Asks for commentary, requests that I “become involved” in some thread or another, messages begging me to “prove to my mom Elsa could have been a person of color!”, asks for my opinion on specific bloggers or their Facebook friends’ statement.

But the problem is, I know that no matter what I write, the “debate” will rage on. No “proof” can possibly compete with emotional investment in keeping these films white, and besides, in history, “proof” doesn’t work that way.

This is an Art History and Historiography blog, and while in factual reality, the debate over Frozen has almost nothing to do with the topics covered by this blog, in people’s perceptions, it has everything to do with it.

Because the response to people who would like to just make art of a Disney character with their skin color, is literally, “you aren’t allowed. It’s not historically accurate.”

This claim has nothing to do with the actual history of Denmark. People of color in Denmark have about the same amount of history as most Scandinavian nations do. There were some people of color of varying origin in most walks of life at any given time in Denmark.  People of Color arrived in Denmark the same way white people did-with boats. But what on earth does that have to do with a Fantasy Film made in the United States, in the 21st Century? A film loosely based on a Danish story that is pure fantasy-it doesn’t even take place in Denmark?

Nothing.

But too many people think it does. The perception becomes reality. And the assumption of completely homogenous whiteness is so strong and so pervasive, it completely overrides any factual evidence to the contrary.

The fact is, there were people of all races in Denmark throughout history. Denmark is one of the oldest nations that still exist, and part of how it got that way was via trade, travel, immigration, intermarriage, alliances, and existing as a part of a global political environment.

But the bottom line is, historical documents cannot compete with a false idea that so many people are this emotionally invested in. The history of Denmark has nothing to do with Frozen, but the near-ubiquitous whiteness of children’s media is one of the most polarizing issues in American/U.S. culture today.

Too many have looked to this blog to somehow “settle” this debate once and for all, or “fix” it, to prove to the people who say mean and often racist things that it’s okay to draw a version of a brown-skinned character from Frozen.

That’s not how History works. There is evidence, and there are interpretations. One might imagine that “absolutely every single last person in the entire nation of Denmark for a thousand years was white with no exceptions whatsoever” seems like a very extreme position to take, and yet MY position, which is merely that there are some exceptions and they are notable, is still framed by many people as “extreme”, apparently to a laughable degree.

I’m sorry, but for people who are emotionally invested in the whiteness of Frozen, there is no proof because there can’t be proof. No evidence is strong enough. Nothing they see or read will change their minds. A cultural promise was made to them that they are the owners and arbiters of history, of fantasy, of imagination. You only have to look at the demographics of children’s literature to see how that promise has been fulfilled.

For those who still believe that somehow that emotional investment in white supremacy can be “fixed” by education, or that those who shriek death threats at bloggers who post their fan art online are “just ignorant” and need to be “educated”, here are some resources documenting the presence of people of color, mostly Black people because that is where the most research has so far been done, in the visual arts of Europe and Denmark itself. I, however, am pretty sure that this post will not change anything at all for most of the people who have a huge problem with even asking, “why was everyone in Frozen white?”

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Girolamo Romani Romanini, Visit of King Christian of Denmark to Bartolomeo Colleoni at Malpaga; Return of Bartolomeo Colleoni and King Christian to Malpaga after the hunting party. 1474. Fresco in Colleoni Collection, Castello di Malpaga, Bergamo (near), Italy. 

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The fresco is enormous and in several parts, documenting arrival, departure, and many activities in between. There are plenty of Black and Arab soldiers, pages, attednants, minor gentry and others in attendance to both the Danish King and the Italian nobleman hosting his visit.

The depiction of Saint Maurice as a Black man came to Scandinavia and Denmark specifically, via Germany. The importance of Saint Maurice to the Holy Roman Empire has already been documented at length here. Many claim that the depiction of Saint Maurice as a Black man is meaningless, because Saint Maurice wasn’t Danish. Almost all depictions of biblical figures and saints from the European middle ages are shown as anachronisms…they are dressed in the fashions of when the images were created, not in the time they “belong” to.

I honestly have no clue how the hundreds of depictions of Saint Maurice as a white man (there are plenty, trust me!) fits into this paradigm, but the following two depictions of the Roman Soldier Saint and commander of the Theban Legion are wearing 15th century Danish armor and carrying Danish arms.

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Saint Maurice, Anonymous Danish Artist. Mural painting. Full-length figure of St. Maurice with a halo in full armor carrying a lance and a shield. Denmark, 1462. Jean Devisse, The Image of the Black in Western Art, vol. II, From the Early Christian Era to the “Age of Discovery” (Cambridge, MA and London, 1979), pt. 1, From the Demonic Threat to the Incarnation of Sainthood, pp. 175—76, fig. 136.

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Saint Maurice, Anonymous Danish Artist. Mural painting. Standing figure of St. Maurice with a tortil around his head, holding a lance. Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen. Gude SUCKALE-REDLEFSEN and Robert SUCKALE. Mauritius: Der heilige Mohr / The Black Saint Maurice (Houston, Munich, and Zurich, 1986).

A lot of people seem to think that unless a surviving record with drawings, dates, and times of enclaves of peasants with features or words we would recognize as racial can be produced, this means that everyone who ever lived in Denmark was white, historically, forever. I suppose anything in life is possible, but these depiction of Saint Maurice are more meaningful that some would give them credit for, considering most artists in this time belonged to Guilds that required using live models for artistic depictions in their method bylaws. Also, there was relatively little artwork depicting “average” people, and religious images are the most likely to have survived.

For those who wonder about depictions of average Black Danish people in service, whether military, in a household’s service, or those subjected to the depredations of colonialism, all exist. There are many, many paintings of various important Danish nobility with Black servants.

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Portrait of a man and his page, Anonymous Danish Artist. Painting. Portrait of a naval officer in a garden with his pet dog and a turbaned black page holding the reins of his rearing horse. Old Master Paintings, Sale catalogue, New York, Sotheby’s, 10 October 1991 (New York, 1991), no. 164A (color reprod.) and cover illus. (color detail). Image of the Black in Western Art database, Harvard University.

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Martinus Christian Wesseltoft Roerbye. Portrait of a smiling black man, seated at the edge of a pool, wearing a sort of fez and shorts and smoking a cigarette. Denmark, 1839. Dyveke HELSTED et al., Martinus Rørbye 1803—1848, Exhibition catalogue, Copenhagen, Thorvaldens Museum, 18 June—30 September 1981 (Copenhagen, 1981), p. 120, no. 82.

So, something about Denmark that parallels British History is the “there a giant ocean right there” factor. Sailors from all over the world found homes in Denmark though many circumstances. Sailors from Asia, Africa, and eventually the Americas were common in the oceans of the world for centuries before global air travel became possible.

Shipwrecks were quite common on the rocky shores in Northern Europe, and the following painting is a depiction of the aftermath of a shipwreck, with the sailors being cared for by the Danish (and a man from the Danish company the ship belonged to).

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Niels Simonson, After a Shipwreck on the West Coast of Jutland (detail). Denmark, 1864. (Black sailor seated at left.) Inscriptions: Signed and inscribed lower left: “Niels Simonsen / Kjöbenhavn 1864.”Nineteenth Century European Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours, Sale catalogue, London, Sotheby’s, 25 March 1987 (London, 1987), no. 144 (color reprod.).

In fact, the history of shipping companies in Denmark document seafaring and trade for centuries. What did these average Danish sailors look like? Just like many sailors in the British navy, they were often East and South Asian, Middle Eastern or Arab, and often Black or of African descent.

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(from 1924)

Unfortunately, not all people of color reached Denmark through their own volition. African people were kidnapped and shipped all over the world during the transatlantic slave trade. The following is a scene in which an English slaving ship is under attack from a (possibly) Danish ship, and a Danish fort is visible in the background. The fort is still there.

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After George Webster. Painting. English slave ships off the shore of the Gold Coast with a view of the Danish fort Christiansborg in the background. Denmark, c. 1800. HELSINGØR, Handels- og Søfartsmuseet på Kronborg.Christian DEGN, Die Schimmelmanns im atlantischen Dreieckshandel: Gewinn und Gewissen (Neumünster, 1974), color reprod. facing p. 128.

But there were also servants of the Danish royal family who were people of African descent. Portraits of these people survive today. It is also unlikely they were enslaved, because they lived in Denmark, and most of the wealth Denmark made from enslaving African people was chattel slavery in the West Indies. Even enslaved people on Danish soil would not have been without certain rights. But a royal household servant would have been a wealthy and respected member of society.

imageKarel Van Mander III. Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708) son of Frederick III. Denmark, 1667. Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University).

imageKarel van Mander III.  Queen Anne of Denmark (?-1611), wife of Christian IV (1577-1648), king of Denmark and Norway. Denmark, 1672. Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University).

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Queen Anne of Denmark. Paul van Somer, c. 1600-17. [link to Bridgeman info]

As an additional consideration, Karel Van Mander III, The court painter responsible for some of the portraits of royalty above, did a series of ten paintings from a tale known as The Aethiopica, which used models living in Denmark at that time. Here are some figures from the paintings:

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Sheldon Creek, writing for TheRoot.com:

He brings this ancient tale to life through a vigorous, unrestrained treatment of action and facial expression, and a lively portrayal of the black protagonists. In fact, there is evidence that at least some of the figures were based on actual models — that is, black people living in northern Europe, most likely Denmark, where Van Mander was serving as court painter when the series was created.

Is there more evidence? Yes, I am sure there is. But how much evidence does it take? Where is the limit?

And more importantly, why are hours of research necessary to even consider making films with people of color in them for a diverse audience of children? Why are the overwhelming majority of Disney films based on European Fairy Tales? Why are people of color excluded from representation in these films? Why should hours of meticulous research be necessary to say “this film COULD be more representative of its audience”?

And if this post gets anyone at all thinking about those things, then I suppose it might have been worth it after all.

(via blue-author)

19,411 notes

“If you really believe that representation doesn’t matter, then why the fuck are you threatened by it? If not seeing yourself depicted in stories has no negative psychological impact - if the breakdown of who we see on screen has no bearing on wider social issues - then what would it matter if nine stories out of ten were suddenly all about queer brown women? No big, right? It wouldn’t change anything important; just a few superficial details. Because YOU can identify with ANYONE.

So I guess the problem is that you just don’t want to. Because deep down, you think it’ll make stories worse. And why is that? Oh, yeah: because it means they wouldn’t all be about YOU.”

fozmeadows (via kawaii-afro-fluff)

(via anotherwordformyth)

468 notes

Anonymous asked: Dictionaries should be taken with a grain of salt because 1) dictionaries around the Revolutionary War literally changed spellings of some words just so they were less British with no other reason [obviously totally credible] and 2) language evolves constantly and the word "contact" wasn't even considered a verb not that long ago.

steinpratt:

blue-author:

tonidorsay:

blue-author:

durkin62:

rationalavalon:

durkin62:

real-justice-waluigi:

1) spellings don’t change what a word means though, so that’s irrelevant.

2) sources?

They literally teach you in elementary school that some if the most reliable sources of information are dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the like.

I don’t understand all the hate that the dictionary is getting.

If dictionaries aren’t the standard then WTF is? Dictionaries change and alter themselves based on common usage. There is a new one every year. They aren’t fucking static. 

They hate it because it means they don’t get to make shit up as they go along.

You’re undermining your own point.  Dictionaries do update based on common usage (albeit slowly and simplistically), so how can you claim that they are the standard?  If common usage should be based on the standard (the dictionary, by your position), but the dictionary is based on common usage, then we’ve got a bit of indefensible circular logic.

Dictionaries are a reference tool that gives inquisitive people a basic starting point for understanding language.  They’re incredibly useful for establishing a shared foundation of inference so people can communicate effectively.  But they are absolutely not an authority on what is the “right” and “wrong” definition of words.  Their authors are linguists that go out into the world, see how words are used, and compile a list of *some* of the more basic and common ways a word can be defined.

There is no Official English Language, and there shouldn’t be.  The hate that the dictionary gets is because too many people attempt to appeal to it as an authority.  ”My dictionary doesn’t have the definition of _______ that you’re using, so I’m right and you’re wrong!” exhibits a fundamentally incorrect view of what dictionaries are.

Oh l love it when they do this.

Do you know what makes words change definition overtime? Misuse. People thinking a word meaning something other than what it does. Words change because enough idiots butcher the word, that there are more idiots using the word incorrectly, than there are people using it correctly. Just look at the word literally. If people all used language correctly this would be a complete non issue. But as always, we need a contingency plan for morons. Altering definitions is that. 

ut they are absolutely not an authority on what is the “right” and “wrong” definition of words.”

And what is. You? Fuck no. No individual is. You need a standard, some kind of organization dedicated  to classifying the definitions of words so that all individuals have common ground. Because if people are just allowed to define words however they want, language becomes fucking useless. Language is SOLELY a tool to relay information. If me and you can read the same words. And get two totally different sets of information from it. Its fucking useless. You can no longer relay information accurately. 

There is no Official English Language, and there shouldn’t be.”

Yes there is. And there damn sure should be. Just because enough idiots butcher the language doesn’t make the standard go away. Again, this is information, if information can be interpreted in different manners, Its shitty fucking information. Look at the fucking issue we have with scripture nowadays. Language’changed so drastically that people can’t figure out wtf the books are saying. Now we have tens of thousands of different interpretations of the same damn thing. All which conflict with each other.

How, How the bloody fucking hell could that possibly be a beneficial thing? How is people not understanding wtf each other is saying good? 

The hate that the dictionary gets is because too many people attempt to appeal to it as an authority”

No people hate the fucking dictionary because having a standard means they as an individual are no longer a fucking authority. BTW I just changed the definition of “authority” to mean book. And the dictionary is most certainly a book. Check and mate.

"My dictionary doesn’t have the definition of _______ that you’re using, so I’m right and you’re wrong!” exhibits a fundamentally incorrect view of what dictionaries are."

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY WE NEED ONE FUCKING STANDARD. So all of our damn personal “dictionaries” are on the fucking same page and this becomes a non issue. Discourse would finally be about using logic and reason to build a solid foundation for your viewpoints rather than “I CAN’T BE FUCKING SEXIST BECAUSE MY WOMAN’S STUDIES PROFESSOR SAID SEXISM IS ONLY FOR MEN.”

There actually isn’t a standard English language. If you think there is, what exactly is it? Where do I go to find it?

France has an actual centralized linguistic authority that oversees the French language, but England has no such body. Each dictionary of the English language follows their own standards (note the plural),which absolutely no one oversees and enforces. The smaller dictionaries follow the leads of larger ones, but there’s no actual top to that food chain.

Universities, publishers, news agencies, et cetera each have their own separately specified style guide (note the word “guide”) for things like the rules of grammar and syntax and even diction (word choice). Again, there’s a narrow field of “Big Boys” that most people pick from at the top, but no one “Top Dog” that is recognized as the ascendant authority over all.

And while in effect these standards become prescriptive (that is, lots of people follow them, which reinforce the standards) and while there’s a certain amount of editorializing that goes into any changes, they are not mainly based on what anyone thinks the rules of English should be but observations of what they are. 

Language evolves because discourse evolves. The point of a definition is to set limits on what a word means. Notice that it basically consists of de-finite-ion. We need words with limits because limits convey meaning. Sometimes the standard definition of a word doesn’t work because the limits are too broad.

If we call any instance of sex-based bias “sexism”, then we can’t make a distinction that is meaningful, which is bias backed by social power versus bias that is personal and thus largely impotent on a large scale. 

Is making that distinction not logical?

Is something unreasonable about making that distinction?

It seems to me that when our language conveys more nuance rather than less, then logical discourse becomes easier, not harder.

I mean, just imagine you were the judge in a case involving a collision. Nobody will tell you if the parties involved were both in cars, or if one was a pedestrian. Nobody will tell you what directions they were heading or how fast they were going. Nobody will tell you who suffered what damage. All anyone is allowed to tell you—all anyone is able to tell you—is that the two parties came into contact with each other. For some ungodly reason, someone got up in arms a few years ago about how unfair it is to treat different collisions as different when “they’re all just collisions, right?”

So for all you know, one party was maliciously run over and killed and the other sped off… or it was a fender bender where both parties were equally at fault. You don’t know, no one will tell you, but you’re supposed to render a judgment.

Is that logical? Is that rational?

We have the language to describe the dynamics of a collision, of course, and so we use them.

And we have the language to describe the dynamics of social interactions, and so we also use them.

Prejudice with or without power is a meaningful distinction. Where language does not offer the ability to make meaningful distinctions, it will evolve until it can. Nobody even has to decide to make this happen. Words and usages will spontaneously arise to fill the gap in our discourse. That’s how language works.

Note that you are arguing with a person who decided to tell a professional sociologist and psychologist that because the dictionary didn’t define violence as involving social or psychological harm, that it wasn’t violence.

Just saying.

Oh, I’m not arguing with anyone. I’m arguing to the audience.

Anyone who thinks having a single “official” language is great should ask French speakers how seriously the Académie Française is taken. Nothing says “dignified scholarly body” like getting up in arms about the fact that French teenagers are saying “fucking” and “le weekend.”

48 notes

blacksupervillain:

I will actually tell you right now what is wrong with all of the X-men movies in the first trilogy

Robert Kelly hates mutants that’s why he’s pushing anti-mutant legislation

William Stryker hates mutants because his son is a mutant so he wants to kill at the mutants

Warren Worthinginton hates mutants because his son is a mutant so he wants to “cure” all the mutants

They all rely on an understanding of prejudice as something one person, generally a person with wild amounts of political, military or economic power can take out on an entire group 

It’s always “look at this hateful rabble-rouser the x-men must do battle with!” 

It makes hate the work of one person rather than that of a society

they don’t really do a good job of showing the way that society as a whole is prejudiced against mutants 

take that scene in X-men when Kelly emerges from the water after Magneto mutates him. He’s literally a big goo-blob walking along the beach and everyone just kind of stares. You could’ve completely created a vibe about the climate of fear against mutants if, for instance, folks had started chucking rocks and bottles at him. Maybe then Kelly would’ve understood what he was stirring up, instead of just being stared at for a few minutes and then melting to death.

(via fuckyeahdiomedes)