I’ve just finished reading my very last ‘romance’ novel on Wattpad today.

OK, does anyone else feel like the storyline for majority of the vampire/werewolf romance stories on Wattpad are the same? Characteristically speaking, the female protagonist is always the epitome of weak (physically and mentally), reckless and plain stupid and is alone in the world for one reason of another sometimes even due to the actions of the male protagonist, the ‘Vampire King’ or ‘Alpha Werewolf’ who is always bad-tempered, reserved, powerful, and fierce such that he doesn’t show any emotion other than anger.

First off, she is either rejected by her family and sent away and then kidnapped by vampires who sell her into slavery to a vampire ‘King’, or is caught on an ‘Alpha’s’ territory while looking for somewhere to go and is subsequently taken as prisoner, or a King/Alpha takes her as a sole prisoner to their lands after ordering the slaughter of her whole family or whatever. In any case, she is alone and in surroundings that she doesn’t know and the author does the most to emphasize that.

So circumstances cause the girl to meet this powerful and supernatural guy and they are immediately attracted to each other, I mean they are both society’s (and the author’s) idea of perfectly attractive people: he’s ripped and has cool facial hair, and she’s slim and curvy (not an ounce of body fat in the ‘wrong place’) and has wavy hair or whatever. The two of them are exposed to each other in such a way so that don’t know anything about each other, and never have the opportunity to get to know one another, yet they develop very intense affections towards each other while also not liking each other at all. But remember, the guy doesn’t show this, in fact he generally treats her quite poorly and in a lot of stories there are situations where initially at least, he even physically attacks her. Yet after all this, the girl is ‘in love’ with him.

Now the storylines are so similar, that it seems to be the case that they even share sentences and phrases: ‘He had bright blue/green/golden orbs and blahblahblah…’ and the vampire king for some reason is always called Damien. But aside from being poorly written, these stories portray a very immature idea of what it is to love someone else. Their attraction to each other is never based on anything that makes ‘love’ what it is, like trust, loyalty, respect or any other factors that determine a whether a person is a good partner, and at no point in the story does anything occur that would cause the two to have to demonstrate these things to each other, and the whole ‘courtship’ process is non-existent. Two know nothing about each other and yet in a very short amount of time the girl is ready to spend the rest of her life with this guy even after only knowing that he is largely responsible for all the horrible things that have happened to her.

And what’s more is the reaction of majority the female readers in the comments – they constantly support the ‘relationship’ even when his actions constantly show that they shouldn’t. it worries me that so many people think that a relationship like this demonstrates love, and while they may truly love each other in the author’s mind, it cannot be assumed unless there is sufficient evidence available in the story. But then maybe by him showing a general lack of care for her well-being, and her showing a lack of sense to know not to fall for someone who cares nothing for her (and constantly proves himself unworthy of her affection), the book demonstrates the author’s idea of true love, in any case, I’ve just finished reading my very last ‘romance’ novel on Wattpad today.

Why I’m Not “Good People”

Jenny's Library

I’m not a nice person.

I’m not a good person.

I’m not a kind person.

This isn’t to say that I don’t ever try to be any of these three things.  I do, especially the last two.

It’s more to say that, for me, surviving in this cissexist, racist, ableist, heteronormative, classist, often fucked up world of ours has involved rejecting the idea that “good” and “bad” are static states of being.  I will never be a “good person” because, to me, “good” is not something that you achieve.  It’s an ongoing process that never ends.

It is, in fact, almost impossible not to be doing bad things as well as good when you are human and therefore flawed.  Especially when you are part of a messed up system, as we all are.

This, to me, is why it’s important to call out bad behavior, or hurtful language, or even…

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Welcome to Baga

Size Forty One

Welcome to Baga
where nightmares live
and dreams go to die
I had heard the men talk in low tones about what they did to Chibok
and how the nation stood still for a day and moved on

Mama never thought they would come
we have soldiers here, she would brag
oh but you see, they did
last night while men slept, they crept in on us 
plundered our lands and set our homes on fire

It burned so beautifully that it reminded me of the fireworks last Christmas 
mama and papa were taken away in that van
perhaps they will be back tomorrow 

my shoes were left behind
the ones mama bought me for school
but my life is worth more
and so I ran through the forest until I came to a temporary place of solace
where a million other children dwelt

Every night since Baga
I wake…

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Invisible Women

SUM City

One of the biggest stories to captivate entertainment headlines this year has been the emergence of Lupita Nyong’o. Her Oscar winning performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave catapulted her to the forefront of the public eye. Once there, she has developed almost a second career as the Queen of the Red Carpet, appearing at film festivals looking flawless in stunning gowns that designers are falling over themselves to dress her in. This summer she landed the cover of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful issue. Her Oscar acceptance speech about what defines beauty sparked a wave of affirmation from women around the world who fight daily to be seen as attractive and desirable within themselves when bombarded constantly with a narrow standard of beauty. Lupita is the most recent black female star to explode into pop culture but obviously she isn’t the only one. From Michele Obama to Olivia…

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Honey glow

Lady Fi

I don’t seem to be able to get enough

Of our late evening honey glow!

Golden light

It pours like warm syrup

Over water and jetty.

Bonding

It bathes Oscar

As he enjoys the view;

Oscar

And dances on golden feet

Over the lovely clover.

(I lay down in a patch of nettles to take this photo!)

Clover copy

For more honey, please visit: Skywatch.

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We Expect Too Little of our Boys

brianiselin

Too often, responsibility for a boy’s behaviour falls on girls. in the playground this manifests as boys playing rougher than girls and the girls being held responsible should they get hurt. It manifests as ‘boys will be boys’.

At the adult level this manifests as a rape victim being blamed for tempting or teasing the man, or dressing like ‘she wanted to be raped’.

The lack of responsibility for our boys managing better their strength leads to a lifetime of blame avoidance for the impact of that strength. It also leads to the rape culture all-too prevalent in our society.

Sexual assault on women is not about sex; it is about power. Boys are taught that physical strength can be used to achieve ends, and that it is a positive thing to laud that power over others. Very often this means bullying girls and, later in life, women, through exercising…

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