Mechanical Engineering, Harvard
Oh fuck off our teen pregnancy rate is the lowest its been since the 40s, fucking stop with the RISING RATE!!1!1
If you want to shock us say we have the highest teen pregnancy in the ~industrialized western world, nearly double the second highest country (the uk)
Which is true and shocking.
I fucking hate teen pregnancy projects
i’m having a lot of thoughts about representation in media and writing groups you don’t come from or are not yourself and i’m mostly thinking about the things i’ve learned from the late, great dwayne mcduffie, and his Milestone Comics, and him talking about “icons”
and i remember, he talked about, and wrote about, how if you have just one member of a group in your story, they become the sole representative, they become that “icon”. if you have one woman, one queer character, one black character, one trans character, just basically one non-cis-white-straight dude that, whether you expected it or not, they are the icon. they are the representative. and they will be analyzed and criticized to hell and back, they will be put under the microscope. they will have to mean everything to everyone, or mean nothing at all. and i think a lot of writers buckle under the pressure, or the fear of screwing up, and go with “nothing at all” - IE, “a supporting cast member who pretty much never gets to do anything at all” - or they go with no representation whatsoever. it’s too scary for them to handle.
like, i think my favorite example of this is sailor moon. usagi is a clumsy motherfucker, flat out. she’s goofy, she’d often rather chase boys or eat or take naps rather than fight crime, she can fall on her face whether as usagi or in the middle of battle as sailor moon… she’s clumsy, she’s goofy, she’s not what exactly a battle hardened warrior of steel when she starts out!
and she’s loved! she is loved to DEATH. she’s a fantastic, likable, empathetic character, she’s great for audiences to connect with. but i think about her, in relation to the rest of the sailor moon cast, and i think about how there is this vast group of women in the show, from the main cast to the supporting cast, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses, histories, relations, and their own firm, developed personalities.
now, imagine if we took usagi OUT of sailor moon. imagine if we dropped her in some other piece of media, where there are no other women of significance in the story, and usagi - or someone exactly like her - was the only real standout woman in the story.
would the reaction to her be as positive? i’m banking on “probably not”. a girl who procrastinates saving the day to hang out at the arcade or try to meet up with the dude she likes, who’s frequently tripping over herself, or being scared to death initially by the threats she faces? i can’t easily imagine fandom or critical reaction to her being be so kind.
and it’s like, just think on all the media where there’s only one woman, only one PoC, only one queer character, on and on, and think on how shitty or minor their appearances seem to be, or just as often, how little they get to do compared to everyone else, what kind of storylines they get locked into, if any at all
you don’t want just one, is the point. if you’re creating a character and going “this is THE ____ character” in your story, you’re already in for pain. not only have you drastically limited yourself, and your character’s interactions, but you’ve created a singular representative. are you sweating “how do i write ____ characters?” there’s a lot you can do, like, obviously, actually talking to and (this is important) listening to people from those groups, reading stories from those groups, on and on, just fucking digging in and reading and listening instead of speaking, but a very fucking important basic thing is not limiting yourself to making them “THE” character, “THE” representative. it’s pretty shitty for everyone involved, generally.
there will be no variety of representation, no diversity of personality or to these characters, if there is just that one singular character to represent an entire group, and that will suck out loud.
you have to get beyond the idea of the one character, the singular, the “THE”, so to speak. where you would make one character from a group, instead, start with making three. see where that takes you. this is not the end-all, be-all of writing from groups you aren’t a part of, but it is a fucking important and huge step, getting beyond the idea of the singular, the perfect “one”, and getting into writing multiples, many, with all sorts of thoughts and personalities and lives.
Asked by Anonymous
age is just a number and people develop at their own paces. Some people become responsible and independent earlier than others. But those features can be practiced. Maybe you should look for a job or a volunteering group where you can practice taking responsibility in a safe environment? There are also internships where you can work with a supervisor or a person who is looking after how you manage with your job. Explaining your mental health might also help because if you express your concerns they are able to assign such tasks for you what are suitable for you. Take small steps and don’t try to take too much at once.
Oh sweetie, I’m gonna have to let you in on a secret:
NONE OF US FEEL LIKE WE’RE ANY GOOD AT LIFE!
I’m gonna tell you a secret that adults rarely talk about - but should!
There’s never going to be a day when you feel like an adult. You think there is. You think there should come a day when you wake up and suddenly you feel different. But there isn’t. I waited and waited for that day to come, and it never did. Now I’m old enough, I realize there are things about being an adult that nobody talked about.
I’m a 38 year old mother of 4 - my oldest is only one year younger than you are. But up here, inside my head? I’m still the terrified, confused 16 year old I once was.
Don’t get me wrong; eventually you get more comfortable with certain aspects of adulthood simply because you’ve had so much practice. But there’s never going to be a day when something flips a switch and you suddenly feel like an adult. It happens gradually, and eventually you realize that you can do all the things you thought you couldn’t - but you don’t feel any different.
And yes, nonnypants, mental illnesses and social anxiety are going to make things more difficult for you than they would for someone who doesn’t have them. I’m not even going to try to deny that; to do so would do you a disservice. But a lot of us adults (*waves hands*) also suffer with mental illnesses. And things like social anxiety. We’ve simply had the time to figure out what coping mechanisms work for us.
You will, too. Just because you haven’t yet doesn’t mean you won’t.
And some of us adults still freak out and break down and all those horrible things, too. We just don’t usually talk about it. Maybe we should, especially to the young people in our lives. Maybe if we did, some young people wouldn’t feel like such a failure for not having everything on the ball.
Because we sure as hell don’t.
[AGGRESSIVELY RAPS] WAITING FOR THE BUS IN THE RAIN
[BEATBOXES INTENSELY] WHERE IS THE BUS THE BUS IS LATE
is this what night vale is
RAINN help victims of sexual violence speak up and heal. Please donate $15 so they can keep doing their important work. Give $25 and get a signed poster, $75 will get you a signed copy of SPEAK, and if you can give $1000, I’ll Skype in and talk to you (and friends, if you want), about writing and pretty much anything you want.
Social Studies, Harvard