"

But I agree with you. It bothers me that I’m always told that I do strong female characters. When in reality, I look at my characters and I feel like they were all broken. They all came from a very devastating past. They were trying to achieve something, they had hope, and they wanted to get someplace, like everything other character that has a meaningful and relevant arc in the story.

It’s because we don’t really know women. We don’t write women accurately. We don’t see women the way that we should see women as a society, as a human race. When you see a real woman, you shouldn’t be saying she’s strong, you should be saying she’s real.

I’m not saying that Gamora is an exception, but you look at my character in Columbiana, and she’s stealthy, she’s agile, she’s physical. But even if I wasn’t physically agile, she would still carry the baggage of whatever happened in my childhood. And I handle myself in the way that I feel a woman should be. I don’t create it. It’s just something that comes natural.

So when people think they are paying me a compliment, in reality what we are saying as a society and as an art society, is that we need to focus more on the real aspect of what a woman is, and not the superficial cosmetic features of a woman as a muse to inspire us to create calendar girls. To create bombshells. To create serviceable characters, beautiful paintings of the girl with a pearl earring: if there’s nothing there behind it, it’s just her face - what’s the story?

"

- Zoe Saldana, speaking to Den of Geek. These musings in particular are so wonderfully expressed. (via pixiegrace)

(via innuendium)





We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome 

fixyourwritinghabits:

Hugely important read.

(via kooperfan)




humansofnewyork:

"I’m writing a five page paper on The Modern African Woman.""Tell me something about The Modern African Woman.""There’s actually no such thing. The ‘African Woman’ is a misnomer. Africa has hundreds of ethnic groups and communities, each with their own customs, traditions, and ideas."

humansofnewyork:

"I’m writing a five page paper on The Modern African Woman."
"Tell me something about The Modern African Woman."
"There’s actually no such thing. The ‘African Woman’ is a misnomer. Africa has hundreds of ethnic groups and communities, each with their own customs, traditions, and ideas."

(via walkingtowardfisterra)


tagged as: #quotes #women


thefirstpaganking:

The Last Japanese Mermaids 

For nearly two thousand years, Japanese women living in coastal fishing villages made a remarkable livelihood hunting the ocean for oysters and abalone, a sea snail that produces pearls. They are known as Ama. The few women left still make their living by filling their lungs with air and diving for long periods of time deep into the Pacific ocean, with nothing more than a mask and flippers.

In the mid 20th century, Iwase Yoshiyuki returned to the fishing village where he grew up and photographed these women when the unusual profession was still very much alive. After graduating from law school, Yoshiyuki had been given an early Kodak camera and found himself drawn to the ancient tradition of the ama divers in his hometown. His photographs are thought to be the only comprehensive documentation of the near-extinct tradition in existence

(Source: eleanasound, via funrobot)




tagged as: #world #women


madblackgirl:

Black women can be feminine

Black women can be masculine

Black women can be delicate

Black women can be quiet

Black women can be loud

Black women can be patient

Black women can be cute

Black women can be adorable

Black women can be sexy

Black women can be dominant

Black women can be submissive

Black women can be straightedge

Black women can be gyaru

We can be literally anything we feel like being.

We are not a monolithic group

We are not the same

We share melanin not mindsets

(Source: blackfemalepresident, via mindbymorgan)




karachiite:

Pakistani Model Nadia Ali

karachiite:

Pakistani Model Nadia Ali

(via sisterscamp)


tagged as: #wow #fashion #women


lisaquestions:

spacedyke:

pervocracy:

postwhitesociety:

hm

I think the “women are mysterious” thing can also come from:
1) Women actually being quite clear, but not telling men what they want to hear.  ”She said she doesn’t want to talk to me?  So many mixed messages and confusing signals!”
2) Women not having cheat codes.  ”I tried being nice, and she didn’t have sex with me.  I tried being an asshole, and she didn’t have sex with me.  Come on, there’s got to be some kind of solution to this puzzle!”
3) Women not being a hive mind.  ”First a woman told me that she likes guys with big muscles.  Then the very next day a woman told me she thinks muscles aren’t attractive at all.  Make up your mind, women!”
4) An individual woman doing something confusing, and instead of asking “why is she doing this now?” men ask “why do women always do this?”

hilarious because this is the same kind of treatment that cis women give trans women ahahahahha

So true this makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

lisaquestions:

spacedyke:

pervocracy:

postwhitesociety:

hm

I think the “women are mysterious” thing can also come from:

1) Women actually being quite clear, but not telling men what they want to hear.  ”She said she doesn’t want to talk to me?  So many mixed messages and confusing signals!”

2) Women not having cheat codes.  ”I tried being nice, and she didn’t have sex with me.  I tried being an asshole, and she didn’t have sex with me.  Come on, there’s got to be some kind of solution to this puzzle!”

3) Women not being a hive mind.  ”First a woman told me that she likes guys with big muscles.  Then the very next day a woman told me she thinks muscles aren’t attractive at all.  Make up your mind, women!”

4) An individual woman doing something confusing, and instead of asking “why is she doing this now?” men ask “why do women always do this?”

hilarious because this is the same kind of treatment that cis women give trans women ahahahahha

So true this makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

(Source: ethiopienne, via rapturous-symphonies)




"

The most impressive naval career of all the female sailors is that of William Brown, a black woman who spent at least twelve years on British warships, much of this time in the extremely demanding role of captain of the foretop. A good description of her appeared in London’s Annual Register in September 1815: “She is a smart, well-formed figure, about five feet four inches in height, possessed of considerable strength and great activity; her features are rather handsome for a black, and she appears to be about twenty-six years of age.” The article also noted that “in her manner she exhibits all the traits of a British tar and takes her grog with her late messmates with the greatest gaiety.”

Brown was a married woman and had joined the navy around 1804 following a quarrel with her husband. For several years she served on the Queen Charlotte, a three-decker with 104 guns and one of the largest ships in the Royal Navy. Brown must have had nerve, strength, and unusual ability to have been made captain of the foretop on such a ship….The captain of the foretop had to lead a team of seamen up the shrouds of the foremast, and then up the shrouds of the fore-topmast and out along the yards a hundred feet or more above the deck….

At some point in 1815, it was discovered that Brown was a woman and her story was published in the papers, but this does not seem to have affected her naval career….What is certain is that Brown returned to the Queen Charlotte and rejoined the crew.

"

-

David Cordingly, Seafaring Women (via queencardigan)

AWESOME. I need to make sure medievalpoc sees this. 

(via ardatli)

Done!

(via medievalpoc)

(via innuendium)



tagged as: #so cool #women #history


ami-angelwings:

badass-bharat-deafmuslimpunkstar:

An Indian woman, a Japanese woman, and a Syrian woman, all training to be doctors at Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia, 1880s. (Image courtesy Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives, Philadelphia, PA. Image #p0103) (x)

The Indian woman, Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi, was the first Indian woman to earn a degree in Western medicine, and also believed to be the first Hindu woman to set foot on American soil.
The Japanese woman, Dr. Kei Okami, was the first Japanese woman to obtain a degree in Western Medicine.
The Syrian woman is Dr. Sabat Islambooly.  Her name is spelled incorrectly on that photograph. 
For those interested, here’s more information on other women of color who attended and graduated from Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in the past, with a focus on the Japanese-American women they accepted during the US WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans.

ami-angelwings:

badass-bharat-deafmuslimpunkstar:

An Indian woman, a Japanese woman, and a Syrian woman, all training to be doctors at Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia, 1880s. (Image courtesy Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives, Philadelphia, PA. Image #p0103) (x)

The Indian woman, Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi, was the first Indian woman to earn a degree in Western medicine, and also believed to be the first Hindu woman to set foot on American soil.

The Japanese woman, Dr. Kei Okami, was the first Japanese woman to obtain a degree in Western Medicine.

The Syrian woman is Dr. Sabat Islambooly.  Her name is spelled incorrectly on that photograph. 

For those interested, here’s more information on other women of color who attended and graduated from Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in the past, with a focus on the Japanese-American women they accepted during the US WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans.

(Source: badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista, via baelor)


tagged as: #women #history #yes omg


rckrbelle:

Just discovered American actress Maude Fealy. Wow, what a beauty.

(via plantainfish)




gehayi:

queenofeden:

perplexingly:

Daughter of a gun (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧ No idea if such a thing existed but surely there had to be girls born on board in the Age of Sail?

*puts on obnoxious historian hat*
*clears throat*
there were actually tons of women and girls on board ships during the age of sail and it’s really cool history that no one!!! ever!!! talks about!!! 
like captains of merchant ships used to bring their wives and children on board for long voyages all the time (and of course there were plenty of well known female pirate ship captains, and women cross-dressing as men, and prostitutes that more people seem to know of)
there’s actually a really amazing story of one woman, Mary Ann Patten who was the wife of the captain of this ship called Neptune’s Car. Captain Patten decided that he wanted her onboard with him and she was super about this and learned all about navigation and sailing and everything. so this one voyage they’re going around the tip of south america when her husband gets sick and is bed ridden with a fever right as the ship sails into one of the worst storms any of the crew had ever seen and it looks like they might lose the ship or have to stop
so you know who takes over??? the first mate??? 
no.
MARY
she took over the whole crew and sailed that ship through freezing water and pack ice and had it coasting smoothly into the san francisco harbour like it was nothing. and she did this all at age 19. while pregnant.
at one point the first mate tried to get the crew to mutiny against her but they all rallied with her and told him to shut the heck up because she obv knew what she was doing.
there’s a great book about women in the age of sail called ‘female tars’ by suzanne stark that i cannot recommend enough and has way more amazing stories and insights about the myriad roles women and girls played aboard ship during that time period.
(sorry i totally didn’t mean to hijack your post i love all of your art and this is gorgeous i just got over excited sorry sorry sorry)

We need links!
Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail by Suzanne Stark
Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea by Joan Druett
Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail by Joan Druett
Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700-1920 edited by Margaret S. Creighton and Lisa Norling
Petticoat Whalers: Whaling Wives at Sea, 1820-1920 by Joan Druett
Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen
Seafaring Women: Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways and Sailors’ Wives by David Cordingly
The Captain’s Best Mate: The Journal of Mary Chipman Lawrence on the Whaler Addison, 1856-1860 by Mary Chipman Lawrence
Women Sailors and Sailors’ Women: An Untold Maritime History by David Cordingly

gehayi:

queenofeden:

perplexingly:

Daughter of a gun (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧ No idea if such a thing existed but surely there had to be girls born on board in the Age of Sail?

*puts on obnoxious historian hat*

*clears throat*

there were actually tons of women and girls on board ships during the age of sail and it’s really cool history that no one!!! ever!!! talks about!!! 

like captains of merchant ships used to bring their wives and children on board for long voyages all the time (and of course there were plenty of well known female pirate ship captains, and women cross-dressing as men, and prostitutes that more people seem to know of)

there’s actually a really amazing story of one woman, Mary Ann Patten who was the wife of the captain of this ship called Neptune’s Car. Captain Patten decided that he wanted her onboard with him and she was super about this and learned all about navigation and sailing and everything. so this one voyage they’re going around the tip of south america when her husband gets sick and is bed ridden with a fever right as the ship sails into one of the worst storms any of the crew had ever seen and it looks like they might lose the ship or have to stop

so you know who takes over??? the first mate??? 

no.

MARY

she took over the whole crew and sailed that ship through freezing water and pack ice and had it coasting smoothly into the san francisco harbour like it was nothing. and she did this all at age 19. while pregnant.

at one point the first mate tried to get the crew to mutiny against her but they all rallied with her and told him to shut the heck up because she obv knew what she was doing.

there’s a great book about women in the age of sail called ‘female tars’ by suzanne stark that i cannot recommend enough and has way more amazing stories and insights about the myriad roles women and girls played aboard ship during that time period.

(sorry i totally didn’t mean to hijack your post i love all of your art and this is gorgeous i just got over excited sorry sorry sorry)

We need links!

Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail by Suzanne Stark

Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea by Joan Druett

Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail by Joan Druett

Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700-1920 edited by Margaret S. Creighton and Lisa Norling

Petticoat Whalers: Whaling Wives at Sea, 1820-1920 by Joan Druett

Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen

Seafaring Women: Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways and Sailors’ Wives by David Cordingly

The Captain’s Best Mate: The Journal of Mary Chipman Lawrence on the Whaler Addison, 1856-1860 by Mary Chipman Lawrence

Women Sailors and Sailors’ Women: An Untold Maritime History by David Cordingly

(via heynonnynonnie)


tagged as: #yes #women #history #ocean #reference


retromantique:


In the mountains around Lugu Lake, near the border between China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, live about 56,000 people who enjoy a family system that has perplexed and fascinated travelers and scholars for centuries. The Mosuo revere Lugu Lake as the Mother Goddess, while the mountain towering over it, Ganmo, is respected as the Goddess of Love. Their language is not written, being rendered in Dongba, the sole pictographic language still used in the world today. They have no words for murder, war, or rape. The Mosuo’s relaxed and respectful tranquility is accompanied by a nearly absolute sexual freedom and autonomy for both men and women.  In 1265, Marco Polo passed through the Mosuo region and later recalled their unashamed sexuality, writing, “They do not consider it objectionable for a foreigner, or any other man, to have his way with their wives, daughters, sisters, or any other women in their home. They consider it a great benefit, in fact, saying that their gods and idols will be disposed in their favor and offer them material goods in great abundance. This is why they are so generous with their women toward foreigners.” “Many times,” wrote Polo, with a wink and a nudge, “a foreigner has wallowed in bed for three or four days with a poor sap’s wife.” Macho Italian that he was, Polo completely misread the situation. He misinterpreted the women’s sexual availability as a commodity controlled by the men, when in fact, the most striking feature of the Mosuo system is the fiercely defended sexual autonomy of all adults, women as well as men. The Mosuo refer to their arrangement as sese, meaning “walking.” True to form, most anthropologists miss the point by referring to the Mosuo system as “walking marriage,” and including the Mosuo on their all-encompassing lists of cultures that practice “marriage.” The Mosuo themselves disagree with this depiction of their system. “By any stretch of the imagination, sese are not marriages,” says Yang Erche Namu, a Mosuo woman who published a memoir about her childhood along the shores of Mother Lake. “All sese are of the visiting kind, and none involves the exchange of vows, property, the care of children, or expectations of fidelity.” The Mosuo language has no word for husband or wife, preferring the word azhu, meaning “friend.” The Mosuo are a matrilineal, agricultural people, passing property and family name from mother to daughter(s), so the household revolves around the women. When a girl reaches maturity at about thirteen or fourteen, she receives her own bedroom that opens both to the inner courtyard of the house and to the street through a private door. A Mosuo girl has complete autonomy as to who steps through this private door into her babahuago (flower room). The only strict rule is that her guest must be gone by sunrise. She can have a different lover the following night—or later that same night—if she chooses. There is no expectation of commitment, and any child she conceives is raised in her mother’s house, with the help of the girl’s brothers and the rest of the community. Recalling her childhood, Yang Erche Namu echoes Malidoma Patrice Somé’s description of his African childhood, explaining, “We children could roam at our own will and visit from house to house and village to village without our mothers’ ever fearing for our safety. Every adult was responsible for every child, and every child in turn was respectful of every adult.Among the Mosuo, a man’s sisters’ children are considered his paternal responsibility—not those who may (or may not) be the fruit of his own nocturnal visits to various flower rooms. Here we see another society in which male parental investment is unrelated to biological paternity. In the Mosuo language, the word Awu translates to both father and uncle. “In place of one father, Mosuo children have many uncles who take care of them. In a way,” writes Yang Erche Namu, “we also have many mothers, because we call our aunts by the name azhe Ami, which means ‘little mother.’ In a twist that should send many mainstream theorists into a tailspin, sexual relations are kept strictly separate from Mosuo family relations. At night, Mosuo men are expected to sleep with their lovers. If not, they sleep in one of the outer buildings, never in the main house with their sisters. Custom prohibits any talk of love or romantic relationships in the family home. Complete discretion is expected from everyone. While both men and women are free to do as they will, they’re expected to respect one another’s privacy. There’s no kissing and telling at Lugu Lake. The mechanics of the açia relationships, as they are referred to by Mosuo, are characterized by a sacred regard for each individual’s autonomy—whether man or woman. Cai Hua, a Chinese anthropologist and author of A Society without Fathers or Husbands, explains, “Not only do men and women have the freedom to foster as many açia relationships as they want and to end them as they please, but each person can have simultaneous relationships with several açia, whether it be during one night or over a longer period.” These relationships are discontinuous, lasting only as long as the two people are in each other’s presence. “Each visitor’s departure from the woman’s home is taken to be the end of their açia relationship,” according to Cai Hua. “There is no concept of açia that applies to the future. The açia relationship … only exists instantaneously and retrospectively,” although a couple may repeat their visits as often as they wish. Particularly libidinous Mosuo women and men unashamedly report having had hundreds of relationships. Shame, from their perspective, would be the proper response to promises of or demands for fidelity. A vow of fidelity would be considered inappropriate—an attempt at negotiation or exchange. Openly expressed jealousy, for the Mosuo, is considered aggressive in its implied intrusion upon the sacred autonomy of another person, and is thus met with ridicule and shame. Sadly, hostility toward this free expression of female sexual autonomy is not limited to narrow-minded anthropologists and thirteenth-century Italian explorers. Although the Mosuo have no history of trying to export their system or convincing anyone else of the superiority of their approach to love and sex,  they have long suffered outside pressure to abandon their traditional beliefs, which outsiders seem to find threatening. Once the Chinese established full control of the area in 1956, government officials began making annual visits to lecture the people on the dangers of sexual freedom and convince them to switch to “normal” marriage. In a bit of dubious publicity reminiscent of Reefer Madness, Chinese government officials showed up one year with a portable generator and a film showing “actors dressed as Mosuo … who were in the last stages of syphilis, who had gone mad and lost most of their faces.” The audience response was not what the Chinese officials expected: their makeshift cinema was burned to the ground. But the officials didn’t give up. Yang Erche Namu recalls “meetings night after night where they harangued and criticized and interrogated…. [The Chinese officials] ambushed men on their way to their lovers’ houses, they dragged couples out of their beds and exposed people naked to their own relatives’ eyes.” When even these heavy-handed tactics failed to convince the Mosuo to abandon their system, government officials insisted on bringing (if not demonstrating) “decency” to the Mosuo. They cut off essential deliveries of seed grain and children’s clothing. Finally, literally starved into submission, many Mosuo agreed to participate in government-sponsored marriage ceremonies, where each was given “a cup of tea, a cigarette, pieces of candy, and a paper certificate.” But the arm-twisting had little lasting effect. Travel writer Cynthia Barnes visited Lugu Lake in 2006 and found the Mosuo system still intact, though under pressure from Chinese tourists who, like Marco Polo 750 years earlier, mistake the sexual autonomy of Mosuo women for licentiousness. “Although their lack of coyness draws the world’s attention to the Mosuo,” Barnes writes, “sex is not the center of their universe.” She continues: I think of my parents’ bitter divorce, of childhood friends uprooted and destroyed because Mommy or Daddy decided to sleep with someone else. Lugu Lake, I think, is not so much a kingdom of women as a kingdom of family—albeit one blessedly free of politicians and preachers extolling “family values.” There’s no such thing as a “broken home,” no sociologists wringing their hands over “single mothers,” no economic devastation or shame and stigma when parents part. Sassy and confident, [a Mosuo girl will] grow up cherished in a circle of male and female relatives…. When she joins the dances and invites a boy into her flower room, it will be for love, or lust, or whatever people call it when they are operating on hormones and heavy breathing. She will not need that boy—or any other—to have a home, to make a “family.” She already knows that she will always have both. The Mosuo approach to love and sex may well finally be destroyed by the hordes of Han Chinese tourists who threaten to turn Lugu Lake into a theme-park version of Mosuo culture. But the Mosuo’s persistence in the face of decades—if not centuries—of extreme pressure to conform to what many scientists still insist is human nature stands as a proud, undeniable counter-example to the standard narrative.

From Christopher Ryan’s & Cacilda Jethà’s Sex at Dawn. To know that such a truly love-oriented, feminist society is so strongly threatened by outside influences really breaks my heart. I want to find out more about the Mosuo people.  

retromantique:

In the mountains around Lugu Lake, near the border between China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, live about 56,000 people who enjoy a family system that has perplexed and fascinated travelers and scholars for centuries. The Mosuo revere Lugu Lake as the Mother Goddess, while the mountain towering over it, Ganmo, is respected as the Goddess of Love. Their language is not written, being rendered in Dongba, the sole pictographic language still used in the world today. They have no words for murder, war, or rape. The Mosuo’s relaxed and respectful tranquility is accompanied by a nearly absolute sexual freedom and autonomy for both men and women.

In 1265, Marco Polo passed through the Mosuo region and later recalled their unashamed sexuality, writing, “They do not consider it objectionable for a foreigner, or any other man, to have his way with their wives, daughters, sisters, or any other women in their home. They consider it a great benefit, in fact, saying that their gods and idols will be disposed in their favor and offer them material goods in great abundance. This is why they are so generous with their women toward foreigners.” “Many times,” wrote Polo, with a wink and a nudge, “a foreigner has wallowed in bed for three or four days with a poor sap’s wife.”

Macho Italian that he was, Polo completely misread the situation. He misinterpreted the women’s sexual availability as a commodity controlled by the men, when in fact, the most striking feature of the Mosuo system is the fiercely defended sexual autonomy of all adults, women as well as men.

The Mosuo refer to their arrangement as sese, meaning “walking.” True to form, most anthropologists miss the point by referring to the Mosuo system as “walking marriage,” and including the Mosuo on their all-encompassing lists of cultures that practice “marriage.” The Mosuo themselves disagree with this depiction of their system. “By any stretch of the imagination, sese are not marriages,” says Yang Erche Namu, a Mosuo woman who published a memoir about her childhood along the shores of Mother Lake. “All sese are of the visiting kind, and none involves the exchange of vows, property, the care of children, or expectations of fidelity.” The Mosuo language has no word for husband or wife, preferring the word azhu, meaning “friend.”

The Mosuo are a matrilineal, agricultural people, passing property and family name from mother to daughter(s), so the household revolves around the women. When a girl reaches maturity at about thirteen or fourteen, she receives her own bedroom that opens both to the inner courtyard of the house and to the street through a private door. A Mosuo girl has complete autonomy as to who steps through this private door into her babahuago (flower room). The only strict rule is that her guest must be gone by sunrise. She can have a different lover the following night—or later that same night—if she chooses. There is no expectation of commitment, and any child she conceives is raised in her mother’s house, with the help of the girl’s brothers and the rest of the community.

Recalling her childhood, Yang Erche Namu echoes Malidoma Patrice Somé’s description of his African childhood, explaining, “We children could roam at our own will and visit from house to house and village to village without our mothers’ ever fearing for our safety. Every adult was responsible for every child, and every child in turn was respectful of every adult.

Among the Mosuo, a man’s sisters’ children are considered his paternal responsibility—not those who may (or may not) be the fruit of his own nocturnal visits to various flower rooms. Here we see another society in which male parental investment is unrelated to biological paternity. In the Mosuo language, the word Awu translates to both father and uncle. “In place of one father, Mosuo children have many uncles who take care of them. In a way,” writes Yang Erche Namu, “we also have many mothers, because we call our aunts by the name azhe Ami, which means ‘little mother.’

In a twist that should send many mainstream theorists into a tailspin, sexual relations are kept strictly separate from Mosuo family relations. At night, Mosuo men are expected to sleep with their lovers. If not, they sleep in one of the outer buildings, never in the main house with their sisters. Custom prohibits any talk of love or romantic relationships in the family home. Complete discretion is expected from everyone. While both men and women are free to do as they will, they’re expected to respect one another’s privacy. There’s no kissing and telling at Lugu Lake.

The mechanics of the açia relationships, as they are referred to by Mosuo, are characterized by a sacred regard for each individual’s autonomy—whether man or woman. Cai Hua, a Chinese anthropologist and author of A Society without Fathers or Husbands, explains, “Not only do men and women have the freedom to foster as many açia relationships as they want and to end them as they please, but each person can have simultaneous relationships with several açia, whether it be during one night or over a longer period.” These relationships are discontinuous, lasting only as long as the two people are in each other’s presence. “Each visitor’s departure from the woman’s home is taken to be the end of their açia relationship,” according to Cai Hua. “There is no concept of açia that applies to the future. The açia relationship … only exists instantaneously and retrospectively,” although a couple may repeat their visits as often as they wish.

Particularly libidinous Mosuo women and men unashamedly report having had hundreds of relationships. Shame, from their perspective, would be the proper response to promises of or demands for fidelity. A vow of fidelity would be considered inappropriate—an attempt at negotiation or exchange. Openly expressed jealousy, for the Mosuo, is considered aggressive in its implied intrusion upon the sacred autonomy of another person, and is thus met with ridicule and shame.

Sadly, hostility toward this free expression of female sexual autonomy is not limited to narrow-minded anthropologists and thirteenth-century Italian explorers. Although the Mosuo have no history of trying to export their system or convincing anyone else of the superiority of their approach to love and sex,  they have long suffered outside pressure to abandon their traditional beliefs, which outsiders seem to find threatening.

Once the Chinese established full control of the area in 1956, government officials began making annual visits to lecture the people on the dangers of sexual freedom and convince them to switch to “normal” marriage. In a bit of dubious publicity reminiscent of Reefer Madness, Chinese government officials showed up one year with a portable generator and a film showing “actors dressed as Mosuo … who were in the last stages of syphilis, who had gone mad and lost most of their faces.” The audience response was not what the Chinese officials expected: their makeshift cinema was burned to the ground. But the officials didn’t give up. Yang Erche Namu recalls “meetings night after night where they harangued and criticized and interrogated…. [The Chinese officials] ambushed men on their way to their lovers’ houses, they dragged couples out of their beds and exposed people naked to their own relatives’ eyes.”

When even these heavy-handed tactics failed to convince the Mosuo to abandon their system, government officials insisted on bringing (if not demonstrating) “decency” to the Mosuo. They cut off essential deliveries of seed grain and children’s clothing. Finally, literally starved into submission, many Mosuo agreed to participate in government-sponsored marriage ceremonies, where each was given “a cup of tea, a cigarette, pieces of candy, and a paper certificate.”

But the arm-twisting had little lasting effect. Travel writer Cynthia Barnes visited Lugu Lake in 2006 and found the Mosuo system still intact, though under pressure from Chinese tourists who, like Marco Polo 750 years earlier, mistake the sexual autonomy of Mosuo women for licentiousness. “Although their lack of coyness draws the world’s attention to the Mosuo,” Barnes writes, “sex is not the center of their universe.” She continues:

I think of my parents’ bitter divorce, of childhood friends uprooted and destroyed because Mommy or Daddy decided to sleep with someone else. Lugu Lake, I think, is not so much a kingdom of women as a kingdom of family—albeit one blessedly free of politicians and preachers extolling “family values.” There’s no such thing as a “broken home,” no sociologists wringing their hands over “single mothers,” no economic devastation or shame and stigma when parents part. Sassy and confident, [a Mosuo girl will] grow up cherished in a circle of male and female relatives…. When she joins the dances and invites a boy into her flower room, it will be for love, or lust, or whatever people call it when they are operating on hormones and heavy breathing. She will not need that boy—or any other—to have a home, to make a “family.” She already knows that she will always have both.

The Mosuo approach to love and sex may well finally be destroyed by the hordes of Han Chinese tourists who threaten to turn Lugu Lake into a theme-park version of Mosuo culture. But the Mosuo’s persistence in the face of decades—if not centuries—of extreme pressure to conform to what many scientists still insist is human nature stands as a proud, undeniable counter-example to the standard narrative.

From Christopher Ryan’s & Cacilda Jethà’s Sex at Dawn. To know that such a truly love-oriented, feminist society is so strongly threatened by outside influences really breaks my heart. I want to find out more about the Mosuo people.  

(via lifeandotherconfusion)




prinxesvlynn:

tylerchokely:

thelastdaybreak:

ourtimeorg:

Amazing millennials…
Note: Angela Zhang is Chinese-American

at age 17, i found out that a bird was not a fucking mammal

birds aren’t mammals?

WHAT

prinxesvlynn:

tylerchokely:

thelastdaybreak:

ourtimeorg:

Amazing millennials…

Note: Angela Zhang is Chinese-American

at age 17, i found out that a bird was not a fucking mammal

birds aren’t mammals?

WHAT

(via hanhantheberserkfan)


tagged as: #women


therabbitandthefoxunited:

stridercat:

zillybooradley:

fuckyeahladies-fictionalandreal:

You know what’s not fucking cool? Cultural appropriation.
You know what is fucking cool? Buying clothing inspired by a culture that is designed by the people of that culture.
Think Native styles are cool? Here, let introduce you to Patricia Michaels of Toas Pueblo. She is a Native woman who designs amazing clothes inspired by her heritage. She knows what from her culture is appropriate for mass-production and what is meant to be sacred, hand-made, or inherited. When you buy her clothes (available at her store Waterlily), or any Native person’s products, you’re giving your money directly to the cultures you claim to respect and admire. When you buy bullshit knockoffs from American Eagle, however, you’re being an asshole.
And seriously though look at her clothes they’re fucking amazing this woman is talented. 


she’s also having a kickstarter to help start a company, so it would be super cool if people could chip in even a little bit to help her!

Now this is super awesome.

therabbitandthefoxunited:

stridercat:

zillybooradley:

fuckyeahladies-fictionalandreal:

You know what’s not fucking cool? Cultural appropriation.

You know what is fucking cool? Buying clothing inspired by a culture that is designed by the people of that culture.

Think Native styles are cool? Here, let introduce you to Patricia Michaels of Toas Pueblo. She is a Native woman who designs amazing clothes inspired by her heritage. She knows what from her culture is appropriate for mass-production and what is meant to be sacred, hand-made, or inherited. When you buy her clothes (available at her store Waterlily), or any Native person’s products, you’re giving your money directly to the cultures you claim to respect and admire. When you buy bullshit knockoffs from American Eagle, however, you’re being an asshole.

And seriously though look at her clothes they’re fucking amazing this woman is talented. 

she’s also having a kickstarter to help start a company, so it would be super cool if people could chip in even a little bit to help her!

Now this is super awesome.

(Source: , via what-ciabatta-with-you)


tagged as: #women #artists