Interesting cases only please.
SIRIUS FLIRTING WITH LITERALLY EVERY TEACHER TRYING (and failing) TO GET OUT OF DETENTION
He tried it with Dumbledore once and the man laughed so hard it almost worked, but then McGonagall came around the corner. Sirius brags until his dying day that he once seduced Dumbledore himself.
James never actually believes him until one day Sirius gives Dumbledore this huge dramatic wink and then Dumbledore winks back.
James stands up and walks out of the great hall.
guys I photoshopped power rangers behind elrond and can’t stop laughing
I passed a flower shop next to a tattoo shop and at first I laughed because I thought it was ironic and then i freaked because IMAGINE YOUR OTP IN A FLORIST/TATTOO ARTIST AU
John Finnemore acting out a deleted scene between Arthur and Martin from Cabin Pressure’s Molokai (x)
Thank you!! The world needs more John gifs! I’ve been thinking about this with my short clips from the con, but I don’t know how to make them. I’m glad you got the power :D
713. Muggleborns charming their plants to say “I AM GROOT!”
His stylist Steve the bee doesn’t aprrove of ties.
The great house dramas, which mix nostalgia for archaic politics with rural prejudice, are a curious venue to explore queer history.
Stumbled into this googling about. Suprise: It’s mostly about O’Brien! I’m not equipped to respond intelligently, but it’s a fascinating read.
DID SOMEONE SAY INTELLIGENT RESPONSE? OH MAN OH MAN I HAVE A FEELING I’M GOING TO END UP SAYING A LOT OF THINGS. BECAUSE I ADORE QUEER THEORY AND I ADORE QUEER HISTORY AND I ADORE DOWNTON ABBEY AND THIS HAS ALL OF THE THINGS (also I’ve actually read that Lee Edelman piece so holy goodness it’s like I’m actually learning things)
While I do disagree with the article’s largely dismissive stance on Thomas’s behaviors, that point is comparatively moot to the one being argued about Thomas vs. O’Brien in terms of queerness. Queer— as used in a theoretical sense— has a complex and ambiguous definition, which must often be defined by the specific theorist before it can be used with any clarity. In its practical usage, I most often see queer meaning that which is non-heterosexual and/or non-cisgendered. Within theoretical works, it often bears the additional meaning of that which disrupts the normative. Not only is queer something that isn’t itself normative, but it is something that actively disrupts those cultural understandings of “the norm.” Through this definition, a comparison of queerness in Thomas and in O’Brien becomes deeply fascinating.
Thomas— without a doubt— fulfills the requirement of non-heteroseuxality. Although it is interesting to consider whether or not Thomas fulfills the role of someone who disrupts the heteronormative. He is certainly aware of his outsider status, which influences a large number of his decisions and behavior patterns. He acts under a constant awareness of his difference and how he has been barred from the normative. That seems to be a key difference between Thomas and O’Brien— he is kept from normativity and would perhaps love to be a part of it, whereas O’Brien seems totally non-plussed to stand on the outside, smoking with Thomas in the metaphorical kitchen yard of “the other.”
In fact, Thomas’s sense of isolation from normative society is something explored to a decent extent within Downton’s narratives. All his life, they’ve pushed him around, just because he’s different. He’s not foul, he’s not the same as you (the upstanding, normative heterosexuals), but he’s not foul. And, as Julian has said himself, Thomas only wants to be happy without going to prison for it.” And that’s not a bad thing. Thomas is one of my favorite characters for a reason. He has depth and he experiences growth and he’s wonderfully cynical enough to really be appealing. He’s the underdog who isn’t content to stay the underdog, and you don’t know whether or not to root for his schemes (and ultimately, you do root for him, don’t even lie to me). I’ll swear until my dying day that Thomas is a great character. Yet, while he might be disruptive in terms of the affairs of the house, he doesn’t seem like he’s going to tear down heteronormativity anytime soon. Thomas wants love and he wants job security, and he wants what everyone else doesn’t even realize they have. He wants to experience the normal range of human emotion and interpersonal interaction without being a pariah for it. You can’t fault the guy for that. But you can pass on the torch of radical queerness to O’Brien.
Now, O’Brien’s incident with “her Ladyship’s soap” is often framed as the height of her evil scheming evilness (and that is a perfectly sound understanding of the event). I do love applying a greater meaning to the action, though, beyond just her own malicious payback. While the possibility of non-heterosexuality is never explored outright (and undertones should not be mistaken for canonical representation), this article does paint a brilliant picture of O’Brien as the disruptor of the norm.
The idea of the heteronormative must first be expanded upon. This construct posits that all people are heterosexual unless proven otherwise. We conduct our affairs under this assumption and seek to indoctrinate all children into this same framework— you’ve heard it plenty of times, “can’t show kids all that gay stuff because they’ll get converted and you shouldn’t influence them that way” without pausing for a moment to consider that children grow up in a culture steeping with heterosexual relationships, and no one considers that remotely influential. Furthermore, society views the heterosexual, married, reproductive couple as an economic unit. They consume goods both tangible and intangible (such as compliance with already-in-place structures of power). They produce people, who inherit and perpetuate those power structures indefinitely. Those are the economics of heteronormativity, in a theoretical sense.
How does this apply to O’Brien? She is unmarried and not likely to be— and the un-reproductive female is itself an example of so-called “failure” to comply with societal scripts. It’s interesting that she is a Lady’s Maid, thus making her Miss O’Brien (which the article fails to realize). Housekeepers and cooks were given the title of Mrs. regardless of marital status, yet O’Brien assumes the role of the perpetually and unabashedly unmarried. While I have not overanalyzed and rewatched every one of O’Brien’s scenes to the same extent as I have Thomas, it is not difficult to remember the numerous occasions in which O’Brien’s word in Cora’s ear has influenced the relationship between Cora and Robert in some way. The article is right in positioning her between the couple. She’s no third wheel— she’s the driver. I don’t wish to reiterate the article’s explanation of O’Brien and the miscarried baby— I will only note that it is one example of O’Brien’s actions directly correlating to a disrupt in the system of inheritance (of land and of ideas). If we’re speaking in metaphors, O’Brien actively blocks the repetition of heteronormative ideology and sexist cycles of inheritance— all the while slipping as a buffer between the lord and his lady, the pinnacle of the heteronormative, whose very lives center around recreating a patriarchal system in the next generation.
What’s my point, at the end of this response? Thomas is a great character. O’Brien is a great character. Thomas shows us historical queerness and the oppression and silencing of queer subjects. O’Brien shows us a more theoretical queerness, which embodies the unapologetic dismantling of compulsive heterosexual ideology as passed generationally through the family structure. Let’s be honest— if you want to tear down a classist system of heteronormative values, Sarah O’Brien is someone you’d want at the helm of your queer naval fleet. She takes no prisoners.
I actually just joined tumblr to respond to this post! Well, there are other reasons—I would like more like-minded people with whom to discuss Thomas in season 4, a support group of sorts. But, anyways.
I think both the article and this post make good points about O’Brien’s queerness, but, not to take anything away from that, I also think both underestimate Thomas in season one. O’Brien may cause the miscarriage, but she’s also shattered by grief over it, even many years later. Thomas, on the other hand, explicitly refuses to grieve—“they’re no bigger than a hamster at that stage”—and he’s the one who is explicitly punished for his refusal to embrace heteronormative, classist ideology.
I also see his leading Daisy on as a kind of subversion of heteronormativity, because it’s not just a triangle involving Thomas, William, and Daisy. Most of the downstairs characters are involved in this story, pressuring both William and Daisy towards the expected outcome of the normative “boy woos girl by the sheer force of his persistence” plot. When Thomas first begins to insert himself between Daisy and William in 1:4, it’s as much an attack on Bates as on William.
To get back to O’Brien, as subversive as she is in season one, let’s not forget that the only person she persecutes relentlessly and remorselessly is Thomas in season 3, and she does that by exploiting heteronormative ideology, not subverting it.
the most fucked up thing is that
one of the most
i’ve heard in the longest time, and the result? the result from these men who claim that they would be all for feminism if it weren’t for all “the man hating”?
do not be fooled for one fucking second
you can be as kind, calm, attractive and male inclusive as they demand for our voices to matter and the result is the same.
these people do not hate feminism because it “hates men”, these people have historically and to this day hated feminism because it’s purpose will result in the taking away of their power.
the scalene triangle
reblog if u a tru 2012 kid