branquignole: (clock)
[personal profile] branquignole
Ha! You probably didn't think this post would ever be written, but here I am, proving all of you wrong! Way back (in April, actually) I wrote this paper about what I called "demancipation in literature", by way of which I wanted to prove that there was a kind of regression in female emancipation and that we are living in a rape culture, and that this would become apparent in comparing a 19th century novel - Jane Eyre - with a 21st century novel - Hush, Hush.

The writing of this paper was a series of ups and downs. I was really committed to the task and I absolutely wanted to get it right. The paper is roughly twelve pages which I wrote in a little less than two weeks (which seems to be an unusually short amount of time, but I think all of my classmates were just dawdling) with the minimum possible amount of outlining. I had to turn in an outline to my tutor, and that was all the outlining I did. I had pretty much everything laid out in my head anyway, since I'd been thinking about writing this paper ever since I first read Hush, Hush in November of last year, and I'd been mulling it over for months. Plus the secondary sources I used were fantastic, and the best one was probably Transforming a Rape Culture by Emily Buchwald et al. which contains several great essays about post-feminism and about what rape culture means for women and for society. Still, I sometimes (which means several times each day) reached a point where I would wander through the house, lost and forlorn, tearing out my hair, and muttering under my breath, "I can't do this, how am I supposed to ever finish this, this is all a bunch of crap (etc etc)". It was the worst before I had to wrap the paper up, because I had no idea how to go about it, had totally lost all inspiration and motivation - and then I went out. In shorts. It was rather late, and I walked about town with two friends of mine. We got to a place where people obviously like to get drunk at certain hours of the night, and then we decided to veer around them because we were scared. I didn't want to put up with anything they'd have to say about the amount of leg I was showing, or maybe even with drunken advances. And then I got home and realised, "this is it. This. This is rape culture, and it sucks."

This gave me a burst of angry and bitter motivation, so I wrapped up the paper and sent it to [ profile] hanelissar for proofreading, who deserves all of my love and gratefulness forever and ever. <3 When she asked me what kind of proofreading I wanted her to do (SpaG, proofing the content etc), I basically said, "UM, ALL OF THE PROOFREADING PLS?" and she said "sure" without batting an eye. Her notes and corrections were extremely helpful, and the paper could never have been as good as it is now without her help.

And then came the part I dreaded the most, which was a talk in front of my class to present my paper. I honestly can't tell you how it went or even most of what I said - I know the gist of it, but I was so out of it with anxiety symptoms and panic (ah, public speaking) that I totally blacked out. I still remember how I was talking about Nora's and Patch's abusive relationship (in Hush, Hush) and about how helpless Nora is in the face of this abuse because people are not taking her seriously, about how it is perfectly okay for Patch to act this way because he is the designated love interest. So I basically established that Nora lives in an environment that enables Patch to abuse her, to threaten and to hurt her without any consequences, and then my teacher said, wait for it-

"But why is it that we could possibly argue that this abuse is also kind of Nora's fault?"

I KNOW. I was like, "were you listening to me at all these past twenty minutes? HAVEN'T YOU READ THE FUCKING PAPER WHERE I SPENT SEVERAL PAGES DETAILING HOW THIS IS ALL BUT NORA'S FAULT?"

I think that this is what cost me one point in the end, that I was not willing to budge from my viewpoint that this was not Nora's fault, that yes, maybe she could have told someone more insistently about this, maybe she could have sought help, but if a girl tells a guy to stop and the guy doesn't, it's really not the girl's fault. My evaluation also says that I was sometimes being a bit too polemic, but maybe I was just being a bit too feminist? A bit too disapproving of Patch's abusive behaviour? I don't know. But I got fourteen out of fifteen points in the end, which is pretty awesomesauce. I'm totally happy with that and incredibly proud of myself for achieving this the first time I wrote such a long paper, especially since the paper pretty much turned out as I wanted it to. Still, as I said- it would not be the same without Han's help, so everybody give her round of heartfelt applause. Thank you, Han. <3

Also, if anybody would like to read the paper (From Emancipation to Demancipation? - A Contrasting Analysis of the Portrayal of Women in Jane Eyre and Hush, Hush), just drop me a note and I'm happy to provide!

I'm sorry if this post is a bit rambly, it's late and I probably should have gone to bed instead of writing this, since school starts again tomorrow, but I wanted to get this done before the next school year starts, so. :D

* Han and Lal were talking about Hush, Hush on twitter earlier, which turned out like this...


(Shut up, all capslocks conversations are awesome. But you see, this was too good for me to pass up.)
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