i think it’d be really healthy and useful to get away from thinking you’re the kind of person who does something, rather than just a person who does lots of things but isn’t defined by them
there’s a lot of value judgment associated with being a certain kind of person, and policing yourself to make sure you fall within the bounds of that kind of person
i’d rather stop the constant process of self-evaluation and self-valuation and just, like, do things, and have those things be independent of my intrinsic value or importance or identity
doing badly on a test doesn’t make you the kind of person who does badly on tests, in the same way that making a mistake doesn’t make you a screw-up; while we’re in a lot of ways the product of our actions and behavior, i don’t think the relationship is so simple or categorical
you’re worth more than the sum of your mistakes
Mostly I just get protective of her, and hiss at people when they moan about “the problem of Susan.”
For me, Narnia has always represented the spirituality of childhood, where Santa Claus and Jesus are both real in the same way, and a winter without Christmas is the worst punishment imaginable, and you grow up but don’t grow up, because a child’s vision of adulthood is very different than what adulthood feels like and is. (I mean, no one discusses sex; Aslan is the only one who ever really dies in Narnia, everyone else is evil, or imprisoned in stone, healed by Lucy’s cordial, or simply…goes away, leaves the narrative. There’s no impotent rage, sorrow or guilt, despite the fact that they lead a kingdom and probably have made bad decisions; there’s no pride, no ambition; no war. Everything is hunting and feasting and pastoral and jolly and it’s a beautiful story but there’s no trials, no eucatastrophe.)
So it always made sense to me why the Pevensies (all the Pevensies) would have to leave eventually. Part of the process of being a faithful adult is shaking off the ~~magical God of childhood and finding a God in this world, a God who is complex and contradictory and bigger than contradiction. The talking lion who neatly spells things out is not a very mature form of God.
Unless we’re talking about the infamous passage from Last Battle:
"My sister Susan," answered Peter shortly and gravely, "is no longer a friend of Narnia."
"Yes," said Eustace, "and whenever you’ve tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, ‘What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.’"
"Oh Susan!" said Jill. "She’s interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on being grown-up."
"Grown-up, indeed," said the Lady Polly. "I wish she would grow up. She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age.”
There is a difference
between having a love interest
and being reduced to a love interest for a male lead.
That is all.
I have a plan that will stop street harassment for all time. It goes like this:
- All women are now allowed to carry swords.
- All women get 20 free hours of sword training.
- All women are allowed to cut a fool without suffering legal consequences once per calendar month.
Fine points and clarifications:
- For the purposes of this scheme, any bladed weapon 20” or longer that comes with a sheath is a sword; anything shorter or without a scabbard is out of bounds.
- Legal “cut a fool” passes do not stack; if you cut no fools in January, you don’t get to cut two fools in February. Conversely, you are not required to cut a fool at all — just know you can if you want.
- Legal “cut a fool” passes are good for any sword wound up to and including fatalities.
And but so:
- I realize the first couple of years after this plan is implemented will be a bloodbath, but think of the society we’ll be building and remember the greater good!
- I picked swords because it’s really hard to take one away from someone if you don’t have one yourself.
- Do you think a small industry might pop up around sword fashion? Stylish sword belts and scabbards? Hello Kitty and Lisa Frank sword gear? Am I alone in wanting to see what that would be like?
Look, I’d be happy if we lived in a world where we didn’t have to hand swords out to women in order to scare dumbass men into keeping their fool mouths shut, but this clearly isn’t that world. I’m ready to see this happen.