So I have been thinking a lot lately about how women in romantic relationships with each other aren’t taken seriously and how this reflects in casual, everyday language.
Specifically the usage of the word girlfriend by straight women to signify their platonic friends. This one thing bothers me so much and I know that a lot of people don’t understand why it would be more than a minor annoyance. But listen, here’s what it does:
- It establishes men as the default even for women’s friendships (because honestly why would you even need to differentiate?)
- It is at best confusing and at worst erasing for female romantic relationships
- It’s obnoxious as hell.
And here’s something for you to think about! What is your assumption about the relationship involved in the following situations?
- A man saying “my girlfriend”
- A man saying “my boyfriend”
- A woman saying “my boyfriend”
- A woman saying “my girlfriend”
Let me guess, based on predominate social narratives, what your first assumption would be before your conscious mind reminds you there might be other answers to the question:
- Queer romantic
- …Not sure??? Platonic??? Romantic???
And in a world where female romantic relationships are constantly erased and being dismissed as platonic only (which is NOT to say that female friendships are unimportant but when they’re used to obscure queer relationships that’s bad), the fact that this happens ALL THE TIME just reinforces that erasure.
So please, ladies, I beg you: If you consider yourself an ally to queer ladies, consider discontinuing the use of this language. We have enough trouble being recognized in society without having casual erasure reinforced in the mainstream narrative by female friendships, which we also support. So consider just saying friend instead, please. Please. If the fact that they’re women is important to what you’re saying, there are other ways to signify gender in context.
Yeah, this is something that’s always nagged at me as well. I remember always being confused as a kid whenever my aunt referred to her friends as her “girlfriends,” because I’d thought that word was restricted to a female romantic partner, similar to “boyfriend.” I still have a twinge of “wait, do they mean actual girlfriend-girlfriend, or just friend?” whenever it comes up, though fortunately I don’t know many people who use it that way.
If nothing else it’s just a confusing term in general if used outside of romantic context, especially so if you’re talking to someone who speaks English as a second language.
And instead of trying to match homeless people up with one of the 24 empty homes available for every homeless person
What a fucked up world we live in.
or why don’t they get a job and sober up instead of relying on non-homeless people for their main income source. them getting a job is definitely cheaper than housing them, and them continuing to stay there because they’re lazy and don’t want to do anything with their lives. now that’s an idea. and next time, don’t link people to some random-ass tumblr blog. i want real news sources (ex: NBC, Huff Post, Fox News, MSNBC, etc…)
god damn fucking five year olds without homes…man…fuck em! why can’t they lay off the booze and just get a job!! everyone can afford a house if they just get a job, right? because the average living wage is enough to pay for a house, right? and why would anyone want to house the homeless!? god, those homeless fuckers really should just get rid of their mental illnesses (without therapy) and their addictions (without rehab) and get a job (without assistance)! clearly they just want to be homeless because being homeless is so much fun and everyone treats you so well.
what are real news sources!? what’s using google instead of being an ignorant mouthy little punk on tumblr!? god damn, using the internet is so fucking hard for people like me!! (I FUCKING LOVE THAT HUFF POST ACTUALLY FUCKING PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE TALKING ABOUT THIS SHIT.)
really though shut the fuck up forever
a kid at hogwarts who just wants to get a proper education but can’t focus because of all of the shit harry potter and his friends keep getting themselves into
Jenna B. Lacey, age eleven, knew exactly what she was going to do with her life.
She was going to go to Hogwarts, get top grades, and be the youngest female Minister of Magic by age 35.
It would have been a good plan, if she hadn’t been in the same year as Harry Potter.
* * *
Year one started out great. She was sorted into Hufflepuff, did well in all her classes, and aced the exams.
A troll smashed its way through the study room she was in on Halloween, but that wasn’t going to deter her.
* * *
Year two was a disaster. People were getting petrified, and worse—the teachers had to herd them from place to place, which severely cut down on her library time. She had to study in the common room, which meant instead of a nice, quiet atmosphere, she got a soundtrack of nervous Hufflepuffs.
And on top of that, exams were cancelled. It was a disaster.
* * *
Third year, she started to notice a trend.
First the troll, than the petrifications, and now dementor guards and escaped convicts. What did they all have in common? Potter.
After Black broke in and everyone had to spend the night in the Great Hall, interrupting Jenna’s last minute studying for a test the next day, she took to giving Potter angry looks in every class.
He did not notice.
* * *
They announced the Triwizard tournament at dinner the first night of fourth year, and Jenna almost started crying.
Potter was going to take this one over. She just knew it.
And she was right.
Voldemort rose at the end of the year. She honestly didn’t know what she had expected.
* * *
Fifth year brought Umbridge. She joined the DA because she was going to need a better background in defense, but that didn’t mean she was any happier about Potter.
She imagined it was him she was hexing instead of Zachariah Smith.
But, by the end of the year, focus on her studies was impossible. After Dumbledore left, it was complete anarchy.
Potter’s fault. Of course.
* * *
Sixth year she started volunteering in the hospital wing. She needed a backup plan in case Potter fucked it up.
All seemed quiet, until they brought Malfoy in. It was apparently Potter’s fault, which surprised everyone except Jenna.
Later, she was peacefully studying in a little nook on the third floor when some Death Eaters and some other adults started dueling right under her nose.
This was the worst fucking school, honestly.
* * *
They were calling it “The Final Battle.”
Jenna ran through the hall, dodging in and out of the children evacuating, until she saw him.
He turned, startled. “Um—Jenna, right? We’re sort of busy—”
She grabbed the front of his shirt and hauled him up until he was eye level with her. “If I’m not Minister of Magic by age 35, it is going to be entirely your fault and I’m going to hurt you.”
She dropped him and stormed away, leaving him to whatever he was doing. She had to fight this goddamn war so she could go back to her fucking studying.
* * *
She became Minister of Magic at age 36.
I think I just found the best Harry Potter fanfic
Holy fucking shit…
As many as 15 percent of freshmen at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission, according to Peter Schmidt, deputy editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. These kids are “people with a long-standing relationship with the university,” or in other words, the children of faculty, wealthy alumni and politicians.
According to Schmidt, these unqualified but privileged kids are nearly twice as common on top campuses as Black and Latino students who had benefited from affirmative action.
This is EXTREMELY blatant on college campuses. The fact that these things need to be clarified is sad.
Legacy is the real affirmative action…and yet we don’t see certain types of entitled people suing to dismantle that.