ASOIAF vs. GoT, First: Lannister Twincest

I’m a fairly recent devotee to the Society of Ice and Fire, and I haven’t yet read all five of the presently available books from end to end. Maybe I’ll try and do that before too long. I won’t get much writing done in the meantime, but maybe I’ll reach the end of A Dance With Dragons just in time for The Winds of Winter to arrive, and I’ll celebrate along with everyone else. So far, my exposure to the book series and affiliated HBO series has been: 1. Binge-watch my dad’s copy of the Game of Thrones Season 1, 2. Order all three seasons on DVD from Amazon; pre-order Season 4; binge-watch Seasons 2 and 3 as soon as they arrive, 3. Scream, “OKAY, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!”, read A Feast for Crows, 4. Figure out that I missed some events between the third season of the show and the beginning of the fourth book; read episode summaries on Wikipedia, 5. Read A Dance With Dragons, 6. Read some parts of A Storm of Swords, 7. Read some parts of A Clash of Kings, 8. Binge-watch Season 4 as soon as it arrives.

You’ll notice that I haven’t read everything there is. I like a lot of the characters, but I seem to be more emotionally invested in the goings-on of the Lannisters and their associates, so they’re the ones whose narratives I seek out in the books. (I care about Brienne and Sansa unto themselves, but for the purposes of this accounting, we’ll list them as Lannister associates. Sansa is technically married to Tyrion and Brienne is emotionally tied up with Jaime.) I’m sure I like the Lannisters more than they deserve, but seriously? They’re not all Tywin and Cersei. In fact most of them seem like totally decent people. We all adore Tyrion, of course. Tywin’s brother Kevan seems like a good egg, and his sister Genna is hilarious and amazing. Well, okay, little cousin Lancel is a dumbass, but on reflection, Lancel’s main problem is that he’s young and impressionable and someone let Cersei get her claws in him. Jaime seemed like an asshole at the beginning, and he has certainly behaved like an asshole at times, but we’ve gotten to know him and he’s turning himself around. He seems to be a good guy after all.

Except for that part where he forces himself on Cersei in the Sept of Baelor. If you’ve watched the show through Season 4, you know the scene. That one.

For those who are new here: I seem to spend a lot of time on this blog talking about sexual violence and bodily autonomy. For those who aren’t new here: don’t be surprised that I’m focusing on this part first.

So, that’ll be the topic of my first examination of the differences between books and show: the Jaime/Cersei relationship, centering on that part where he violates her in front of their son’s corpse.

I will apply a heaping helping of TRIGGER WARNING to what lies below. If you’ve seen what happens, it won’t be a surprise, but nevertheless, I will repeat some details that may be upsetting, so take a moment to prepare yourself:

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Barnes & Noble’s Dirty Little Secret: Author Solutions and Nook Press


*nods* Interesting development. I encourage my fellow self-publishers to avoid Nook Press Author Services, and along the same lines, to avoid using Nook Press altogether. Smashwords can distribute ebooks to B&N. I think that’s what I’ll be doing with my ebooks going forward. Nook Press doesn’t need any more of my time.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

NookPressAuthorSolutionsNook Press – Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing platform – launched a selection of author services last October including editing, cover design, and (limited) print-on-demand.

Immediate speculation surrounded who exactly was providing these services, with many – including Nate Hoffelder, Passive Guy, and myself – speculating it could be Author Solutions. However, there was no proof.

Until now.

A source at Penguin Random House has provided me with a document which shows that Author Solutions is secretly operating Nook Press Author Services. The following screenshot is taken from the agreement between Barnes & Noble and writers using the service.


You will see that the postal address highlighted above for physical submission of manuscripts is “Nook Press Author Services, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, Indiana.”

Author Solutions, Bloomington, Indiana. Image courtesy of Wikimedia, uploaded by Vmenkov, CC BY-SA 3.0 Author Solutions, Bloomington, IN. Image from Wikimedia, by Vmenkov, CC BY-SA 3.0

There’s something else located at that address: Author Solutions US headquarters in Bloomington…

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Parking space is not a justification for homicide.

Regarding the recent Chapel Hill shooting, I’m not entirely satisfied with the depth of information we currently have on the shooter and his possible motivations. I’ll just echo a point that others have made already:

You do realize that a dispute over parking space is nowhere near adequate to explain shooting three people, yes? Clearly, Mr. Hicks was dangerously preoccupied with the topic of who was allowed to park in his neighborhood, and while that preoccupation may provide much of the context for his killing Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammed and Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha, the preoccupation itself is not one of those things that can happen to anyone. If he was willing to shoot people over parking spaces, that doesn’t exactly make him a sympathetic suspect. We do not want people wearing guns in plain view to come talk to their neighbors about parking issues. We do not want people pulling triggers on their neighbors when there’s nothing more valuable at stake than the question of whose car is parked on the property in question. If the cops and his estranged wife think it helps his case to insist that the shooting was not motivated by Islamophobia, insisting he did it for the parking space is hardly an improvement.

Maybe he didn’t see the victims as his neighbors. Maybe he saw them as intruders and interlopers, and it wasn’t much of a leap from being hostile about parking spaces to putting bullets in their heads. Either way, even if they were using more parking spaces than they should have done, they still had a reasonable expectation of not getting shot.

Why IS it so satisfying to hurt us?

Lindy West’s latest tale of engaging with an online troll is a doozy. After she published an article on rape jokes, in which she argued that jokes told at the expense of rape victims make the world a shittier place, someone made a Twitter account impersonating her dead father, and used it to abuse her.

This time, rather than obeying the overwhelming chorus of voices demanding that she pretend the abuse doesn’t happen, she mentioned this particular troll at Jezebel, and got a very apologetic, introspective email in return. From the father-impersonating offender himself. He was actually, genuinely sorry for what he’d done after Ms. West called him out.

Well, fuck me with a chainsaw and bugger me with a spear.

Eventually, she corresponded with the guy, and ended up talking on the phone with him for over two hours. He was very helpful and candid. He couldn’t answer every question, though.

He said that, at the time, he felt fat, unloved, “passionless” and purposeless. For some reason, he found it “easy” to take that out on women online.

I asked why. What made women easy targets? Why was it so satisfying to hurt us? Why didn’t he automatically see us as human beings? For all his self-reflection, that’s the one thing he never managed to articulate – how anger at one woman translated into hatred of women in general. Why, when men hate themselves, it’s women who take the beatings.

These are interesting questions, and I’m sure they don’t have simple, one-dimensional answers.

  1. What makes women easy targets?
  2. Why is it so satisfying to hurt us?
  3. Why don’t they automatically see us as human beings?
  4. How does anger at one woman translate into hatred of women in general?
  5. Why, when men hate themselves, do women who take the beatings?

With the exception of #4, all these questions ultimately boil down to #5: Why do women take the beatings for men who hate themselves?

This is a question I’d like to put to our feminist-sympathetic* men. Our privileged allies. I’d like you guys to sit with yourselves for a while and think about these questions. I think that you guys will ultimately be the ones who show us the most meaningful answers. This is a conversation, not a pop quiz:

Why, when men hate themselves, do women take the beatings?

*It’s okay if you don’t call yourselves feminists. I’m not interested in splitting hairs over who uses the F-word and what it means when they don’t. It’s the sympathies that matter in this case.

NOPE Drive: Engaged!

Latest “Oh dear gawd no” at Captain Awkward:

I have a problem. I am a feminist. Why is that a problem? Because my boyfriend, as generous and thoughtful and funny and sweet as he is, doesn’t get it. At all. We’ve been dating for over a year and I love him, which is what makes this so hard. About three months into our relationship, I noticed that when I’d bring up some women-centric issue (i.e, the Steubenville rape case), his argument was “Well, she shouldn’t have been drinking so much.” Which, of course, is awful and, yes, I may have gone to bed angry that night.

I chalked it up to him just “being a guy” and being influenced by the world’s habit of blaming the victim, etc. But then, as our relationship progressed, these things just kept. popping. up. To the point where he told me that he believes in Men’s Rights and he thinks feminists are crazy and damaging. I’ve told him my feelings on this and how hurtful and scary I think these opinions are. He’s told me that he may be influenced this way because of a (really bad) past relationship, a relationship which I knew all about when we started dating.

I love how she says “and I may have gone to bed angry that night,” like one admits to having done something she’s not proud of.

We all have our dealbreakers. Somewhere. No one set of dealbreakers is quite like another. Some are issues that seem ridiculous to most people, some are mostly-agreed to be reasonable. I have some dealbreakers that’ll rule out a lot of great people because my neurology is full of weirdness, and I’m sure there are plenty of people whose dealbreakers rule me out due to qualities entirely outside of my control. Such things happen. Fine.

And then there’s stuff like this.

We’re all influenced, in some ways or others, by the world’s bad habits of treating people in shitty ways for shitty reasons. Some people are more influenced than others. Meanwhile, some people are affected much more profoundly than others by the world’s shitty treatment.

There are certain topics on which both partners need to be in agreement if the relationship is expected to last. Things like: where should we live? Will we have children, and if so, how many? What happens if one of us becomes too sick or disabled to work, or needs long-term care? If partners can’t get on the same page as basic questions such as these, the relationship is untenable.

If you’re a feminist, and your partner thinks feminists are “crazy and damaging,” that’s a pretty serious incompatibility.

So, he sort of may have gotten that way because of a past relationship that messed him up? Okay, I’m sorry to hear that, but even so? You can’t save everyone. It’s not your responsibility to make up for what someone else did to him. That way lies madness.

Now, what happens if you start acting like of those “crazy, damaging” women he so reviles? What happens when you forget to be on your best behavior, and do something that takes away your exceptional Cool Girl status? Suppose shit happens, and someone rapes you when you’re drunk? Will your “generous and thoughtful and funny and sweet” boyfriend suggest you shouldn’t have been drinking so much? And if that argument happens, how do you think you’ll respond? Because I am telling you now, no matter how much Mr. Thoughtful Generous MRA accepts your differences of opinion with him, you still have to live in the world as a woman. How much shit will you have to deal with, all alone, because Mr. Thoughtful can’t be trusted to be on your side? How many times will you have to figure out whether to plow through some fresh fuckery all by your lonesome, or to let him see what’s happened and deal with him asking why you didn’t handle it some other way, because you have to worry about showing him you’re not one of the good ones after all?

How to deal with it? DTMFA. Maybe not this week, but really, get out of there while you still can. If it sounds like a laundry list of reasons to break up, that’s because it is.

Ugly is wherever you choose to see it.

Dave Futrelle has shown us some “interesting theories about why feminists are “obsessed” with rape and abortion” from an MRA, and I was expecting some fresh batch of fuckery that would get me all good and pissed off. Imagine my disappointment to find out it’s just a rehash of the old rubbish about how rapists only target pretty women, and we feminists are all ugly bitches with nothing to worry about.

(Go ahead and picture Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna reading that paragraph. “I was told you were drunk, impertinent, and thoroughly debauched.” Yes, that’s the voice that keeps going through my head.)

Seriously, though, that’s all they’re saying. We feminists are ugly bitches, and rapists only target women they find attractive, so we’ll never have to worry about getting raped and that’s why we’re all pissed off. That’s the content of the comments shown in the link. That’s the entire range of these fuzz-nuggets’ insight into the feminist psyche. It would get me plenty angry if it were anything new. By now I’ve seen so much of this attitude, my reaction is mostly boredom.

I’m jaded and cynical as fuck, but that doesn’t mean the attitude isn’t also incredibly violent.

Here’s what we need to understand:

No, wait, first off, THIS much is what you need to understand: if you ever, EVER, think it’s okay to suggest that anyone is “too ugly to be raped,” do not ever darken my virtual doorstep. We have nothing to discuss. We have nothing in common. Fuck off and never come back. I’ll ban your sorry little ass without a cursory exhalation.

That aside, it must be pointed out that if rape is a matter of who is “irresistible,” then basically everyone is irresistible to someone. Rapists target everyone from the most conventionally attractive to the least. Rapists target symmetrically flawless 20-ish blondes, they target children, they target elderly women, they target fat women, they target women who are about to faint due to starvation, they target people with serious mental illnesses and cognitive disabilities, they target pretty much everyone. Women are more frequently targeted than men, and women of color (particularly black, undocumented immigrant, and Native American) are more often victimized than white women, and generally those of lower privilege profiles have higher victimization rates than those of us who enjoy relatively high privilege, but ultimately, rapists decide what type of people they want to victimize, and they find a way. They don’t exclusively attack the ones who look like the fashion models who appear most often in the pages of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, they just…target whomever they think is least likely to be taken seriously if they have the courage to report to the police.

There is no woman in the known world who is too good-looking to be told she is too ugly to be raped.

This is what the narrative of “rapists target pretty women” does: it creates a division that has more to do with perception than risk. We are all at risk, to some extent. No matter how beautiful or how hideous, we all have to watch our backs. No matter how compliant with current beauty standards, or how divergent from what is considered desirable, we all have to worry that we either should have seen the rape coming, or that we should be grateful for the attention. We all have to worry about being victimized, and we all have to worry about being blamed.

I don’t like to use the passive voice, but it’s tricky to determine who is responsible for choosing victims and assigning blame.

No one will ever be able to convince me that I’m not a good-looking woman. I’ve received waaaay too many messages on OKCupid with little content other than to tell me I’m cute. (Speaking of which: up your game, guys. That shit gets old in a hurry.) It’s far too late for anyone to tell me otherwise.

And perhaps one might think I could sneer at these rape advocates (they’re not even apologists for rape anymore) with a sample of the shots that photographer Barbara Glaeser just posted on her blog from my session with her. Here’s one of those old, ugly, repulsive feminists who are so obsessed with rape and abortion!

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Are men oppressed by women who put their hair up in buns?


Oh, good. For the last year and a half I’ve had a pixie cut, and since I’ve grown bored with short hair, I’ve decided to grow it out again, so here I was afraid men might start thinking I’m a nice girl. Once my hair is long enough, I’ll keep it in a bun all the time so everyone knows I’m still a ball-busting piece of work.

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

Heartiste's worst nightmare? Heartiste’s worst nightmare?

Pity the poor pickup artists, who have suffered so much at the hands of modern women.

Just consider the many cruelties that these malicious females have inflicted on these long-suffering men: Women insult and horrify men by getting tattoos, developing self-esteem, and being fat. They have the temerity to sleep with men that aren’t pickup artists. They force would-be Casanovas to take showers and even wipe their own asses in order to appeal to their fickle female tastes. Sometimes they even say “no” to sex.

And then there is the hair thing: believe it or not, some women actually cut their hair short in an obvious attempt to destroy the boners of modern man.

But it turns out women don’t have to get pixie cuts to oppress men with their hair. They can also put their long hair … in a…

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I’ve been on both sides of this interaction.

There was this post on This Is White Privilege:

bendingdick-cucumberbatch asked: Hi sorry, just wondering about the “White privilege is going up to someone of color and trying to “speak their language”” post. I am studying Japanese right now, if I were to ask someone who I know speaks Japanese to help me with my pronunciation or if they could practice speaking it with me, would that be racist?

“Hey, you said this thing was racist, but what if I did a completely different thing? Would that be racist?”

I am in the population that’s most often guilty of the obnoxious behavior in question, but I have also lived somewhere else, where I was the exotic one, and I was among the people who had to deal with the obnoxious behavior in question. So I think I have a useful perspective on this! I will expand on the TIWP mod’s answer a bit.

On the one hand, we have the “HOLY SHIT YOU’RE A FOREIGNER!” approach, in which you see someone, who is outside of your acquaintance, who appears to be from a different cultural group. You know a few words of a language which you assume this person speaks. Maybe you have actually seen this foreign-looking person open their mouth and speak the language! Or maybe you have never heard a single word in this person’s voice, but either way, you assume they speak this language, and you know a few words in it, so you start blurting inanities at the foreign-appearing person like they’re gonna throw you a cookie as a reward for doing a trick. These inanities are usually polite unto themselves (such as “hello” or the equivalent), but the message such an interaction sends ultimately comes down to you pointing out to someone that they do not appear to be part of the native population. In the Global North, a frequently seen example is some clueless McWhiterson who sees an East Asian person on the street and shouts “Ni hao ma!”, with that being one of maybe five entire phrases the shouting person knows in Mandarin, not realizing and not even considering that the person they’re shouting at is Vietnamese-American, is a U.S. citizen who’s been here since early childhood or birth, and doesn’t know Mandarin, either.

During my time abroad, I amassed a lot of examples of people showing off their foreign language skills to let everyone else on the street know that a foreigner was out and about, but what I dealt with the most frequently were the many neighborhood children who would drop whatever they were doing and vocalize something resembling “HELLO!” at me, over and over again, every time I appeared on the street, but then scurried away when I tried to interact with them. This went on for over half of my assignment. I only had a few weeks left in the country when they finally stopped. I may still be a little bitter about this aspect of my experience. Even the most persistent of those children, however, made more sense than the old man on the sidewalk who shouted something in Italian at me (a language I have never learned) and then got all annoyed when I stopped and asked him, in his own language, what he wanted from me. What the old man had in common with the kids was that none of them were actually talking to me. The purpose of their shouting was to remind me that I was a foreigner. Just in case I might forget.

On the other hand, we have the “We’re acquainted, and I’m trying to learn a language that you know” approach, in which you know someone well enough to know their name and a little of their life, and you have in their own words that they speak a language that you are in the process of learning. You actually speak enough of this language to hold a conversation, and you are making an earnest effort at learning more, so you go to this person, ask nicely if they’ll help you with your language-learning, and wait for their answer. There’s nothing wrong with asking. If they say no, and you try to force the issue, that’s bad, and if you’ve never shown the slightest interest in conversing with this person before you decided to use them as a free language tutor, that’s obnoxious, but if you’ve learned past the basic greetings level, and you already have a rapport established, it’s okay to ask.

I can’t find the original TIWP entry about “going up to someone of color and trying to ‘speak their language'” but I’m willing to bet the person who made that submission was referring to the former behavior and not the latter.