Being Mary Watson’s spouse: it’s who you know
Regular readers know I make an effort in this blog not to identify genders, unless someone has volunteered it. I don’t identify mine, or my Significant Other’s or our now adult kid’s. I try not to do it with authors and such, either.
One of the things I love most about the internet is that it’s possible to be judged only by your thoughts…not by your intrinsic characteristics.
If a website requires me to enter my gender before I can post or shop, I simply don’t use that site.
Now, I don’t mind if people choose to disclose, and many do. I don’t feel like I’m hiding who I am, and I’m not ashamed of it. 🙂
It’s just that I want to set the precedent that you don’t need to identify (and perhaps be judged) by what you are (as opposed to who you are) if you don’t want to do so.
I try not to do any intrinsic characteristics, although it’s sometimes hard to not to suggest at least an age range for me, based on my experiences. I openly tell people I go back to the punch card days…I think you’d be quite hard pressed to find a Millennial (born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, approximately) who had worked with one of those. Vinyl, yes…punch cards, no. 🙂
There is a tendency to default unknown people as male. For example, there has been a lot of talk in the news lately about a “female fugitive”. I think almost every story I’ve seen has identified that person’s gender. If there had been one fugitive left who was male, I would be very surprised if they consistently referred to the person as a “male fugitive”.
That’s odd, isn’t it, when the majority of people in Europe (and the United States and Canada), where the story originates, are female? Since males are the “exception” (although the numbers tend to be quite close), you would think you point out that someone was male and not point out when they were female.
I’ve also had quite…passionate discussions with people about whether or not “actress” is an acceptable term. I maintain that it is a minimizing term…that it diminishes the person. When you ask how many actors are in a play, that includes males and females (as it should, in my opinion). You have a way to ask how many female actors, but not a way that ask exclusively male actors (without brining in more words). To me, “actress” again suggests the exception, something different.
I think almost no one uses “authoress” any more, although that used to be pretty common, I believe. If you check your dictionary, you may even see it defined as a derogatory or sexist term.
Then there was something that prompted this post.
I write about movies in another (relatively little read, but fun to write) blog,
I think a movie called
may surprise a lot of people this year with how well it does at the box office.
It features a group of D.C. Comics villains being “recruited” for a mission (I don’t want to say more than that).
The first interesting experience I had with it was when I was in a comic book shop (that’s actually a rare experience for me…I was looking for a gift for an office holiday gift exchange).
I mentioned the movie, and one of the clerks asked which characters were in it.
I mentioned the Enchantress.
The other clerk corrected me, saying that Harley Quinn was in it.
Yes, they are both in it. It’s possible to have two strong female characters in the same movie. 😉
The other thing was then trying to explain to someone else who Harley Quinn is (quite a popular character, although Quinn’s only been around for less than a quarter century).
Look up Harley Quinn, and you’ll immediately see her (identifying the gender is important here) identified as a “girlfriend” (or perhaps accomplice) of The Joker.
That’s true even when Harley is the only person in an image…not 100% of the time, but commonly.
Sure, I get that: people know The Joker, and don’t know Harley…so it gives you a point of reference.
You know what I don’t see?
I never see The Joker identified as “Harley Quinn’s boyfriend”.
Even if they were both together in an image, I doubt you’d see that.
That got me thinking…
I think especially female characters tend to be defined by their relationships to other character…typically male characters.
Again, that’s not universal, and it’s not just female characters. I’m sure we see Dick Grayson (Robin) identified as “Bruce Wayne’s ward” far more than we see Batman identified as “Dick Grayson’s guardian”.
I thought we could have some fun with this.
I’m going to flip it, as I did in the title of this post. Let’s see if you know who the other character is by defining their relationship to someone.
- Mary Watson’s spouse
- Kala’s human child
- Toronado’s rider
- Mrs. Hudson’s best known tenants
- Scout’s father
- Becky Thatcher’s love interest
- Wendy Darling’s pretend spouse
Hm…I think this is easier than I expected, at least for my readers. I would get all of these pretty easily. I do think that if I posed the questions the other way, asking who was so-and-so’s love interest, more people would get it.
I’ll post the answers soon, but I’m guessing someone identifies them in the comments in the next day. That’s fine, by the way…I won’t confirm it for a day at least.
Bonus note: I was finally able to order an Amazon Echo today! You had to have asked for an invitation, and had Amazon approve your request.
My estimated delivery date?
Between May 27th and July 2nd.
Not only is that some time away, it’s quite imprecise. I’ve never seen a more than a month delivery window before!
Still, I’m excited to be getting one!
If you are wondering what the Echo is, here is my category of posts on it:
Join more than a thousand readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!
I bought my Echo through AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.