Read it over.
Let those words resonate in your mind. — Nayyirah Waheed (via diveinme)
So Mary Sues are now the champions of feminism. How about no.
Complaint of the day: apparently Mary Sues are now a feminist issue, and a good thing. The logic behind this, if I understand it correctly, is that they are somehow empowering and that male characters get away with absurd levels of perfection anyway.
But, ladies, it is possible, there is solid evidence, to write a strong female character the audience can look up to without her becoming that irritating, narrative-warping monstrosity that is generally refered to as the Mary Sue.
They don’t even have to be ‘bland’. They can be attractive. They can be good at what they do. They can even be in a relationship with one of the other important characers and have a not-so-perfect past.
What (in my oppinion) makes a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) so irritating is that they stick out of the story. Other characters only exist to worship them or hate them, there’s no such thing as a bystander they just meet who doesn’t have an oppinion of them, whose life they don’t really affect.
Let me illustrate my point: sergeant Angua von Überwald from the Discworld novels is a werewolf with an unhappy past, is very attractive, competent at her job and is in a relationship with another high-ranking officer. I have never heard her being called a Mary Sue.
Isabella Swann is a supposedly bland, avarage-lookin, clumbsy teenage (human) girl with a slightly sad past. She doesn’t do much, apart from unintentionally (and sometimes intentionally) getting into trouble, angsting and being in love. Somehow every character in the whole ‘saga’ either loves or loathes her. Is widely claimed to be the single worst Mary Sue of the recent past in officially published fiction.
What I’m trying to say is, please don’t go around excusing bad, lazy writing with claiming it to be feminist. Strong characters, even pretty characters aren’t automatically Mary Sues.
Yes. I also think people muddy the difference between fictional Mary Sue’s/Marty Stu’s and Self-Inserts, tho they can have similar problems. Not every original character a girl or woman creates automatically denotes the Mary Sue label. It’s pretty insulting to women who work hard to make well-rounded OC’s. But even if a character is a blatant Mary Sue, it’s not a feminist issue because a woman’s every free action isn’t feminism. It’s nice growing girls can self-indulge and should be able to learn and grow their creative side without being attacked for it, but helpful criticism/commentary isn’t misogyny. And let’s remember the main issue with Mary Sue’s is the character itself is usually a walking bag of misogyny. The “not like other girls” stereotypes and getting along more with men as a rule and other women either jealously hating her or licking her feet with no in-between. I mean, how many fanfics have we read growing up where a canon female character gets metaphorically ripped to shreds by the author’s OC? The OC then gets dibs on the character’s canon love interest and proceeds to do everything they originally did only 10x better. Telling girls to stop doing this is helping them not shaming them.
The real Enjolras—sort of
Following up on this post, I’ve done some more research into the “real barricade boys” matter. I was excited to read this excerpt of a review by Mark Traughton about an authentic letter by Charles Jeanne to his sister. Jeanne participated in and survived the June Rebellion of 1832 and Traughton describes him as “the real-life individual on whom Hugo loosely based his characterization of the rebel leader, Enjolras.”
The letter is 60 pages and in French (naturally) but there is an English translation of at least part of the letter available. This reblog of the translation by pilferingapples may be easier to read font-wise.
Special mention to norwegianalien for posing the initial question and tenlittlebullets for apparently translating the letter and putting up the French text. I was curious about who the real “Les Amis” were too and just thought I’d see what I could find.
Okay i’m still pissed at spn but holy shit i’m happy i tuned in to check up tonight