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07 September 2013 @ 02:54 pm
on love and stories  
Having Tam Lin feelings about Amy and Rory again, send help

I just - she loves him so fiercely and stubbornly that she remembers him back into the universe, and then is prepared to love him until he's human again (hold me fast and fear me not); she tears apart time for him; she's ready to do battle for him against creatures that want to take him out of time and away from her, with nothing more than her will... oh, Amy Pond, darling girl, no one told me you were going to choose to casually live inside one of my favorite narratives; I was not prepared for you.

This is one of the reasons it bothers me when people argue that Amy choosing Rory is automatically misogynist, that Amy is a passive character - as though "love" isn't also a verb, an action; as if it isn't terribly hard and brave; as if learning the kind of trust and faith that love requires isn't a major part of Amy's arc. As though telling stories that center around love is always sexist, no matter how they're actually executed, because love is weak and all girls in stories should fight with weapons and with fists; anything "less" is less than feminist.

In other media thoughts...I was looking at the book The Art of Brave a few weeks ago, and one of the people who wound up working on the movie said he was initially hesitant, because it was a princess movie (ugh, girls), and that mother-daughter relationship territory had been covered so often... Except, no? Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Jane from Tarzan: all father-daughter stories. (Mulan was the first Disney girl in ages to even *have* a mother; but all the big emotional scenes are between her and her father.) There are plenty of princesses who have wicked stepmothers, but that's really not the same thing. I guess there's a little bit of mother-daughter stuff in The Incredibles? Maybe? Non-animation, there's Gilmore Girls, and...Freaky Friday? Maybe I just watch the wrong stuff, but I'm drawing a blank on stories where the mother-daughter relationship is really central. (There are family shows like Joan of Arcadia and Parenthood with various important familial relationships, mother-daughter being one; that's good, but also not the same.) There was that Ya-Ya Sisterhood movie, I guess, but the mother-daughter relationship seemed (in the bits of it I saw on tv) like the frame narrative rather than the central story. And Anna Quindlen's One True Thing (the movie was kind of terrible, but I loved the book for quite a while. I wonder how I'd feel if I went back to read it now). I'm sure there are tons of books where mother-daughter relationships are key, but my point is that I don't think this is actually a narrative that's being done all the time in prominently visible media, like, oh, you can't swing a cat without hitting a mother-daughter story, let's not do another one of those.

And then I tried to come up with mother-son stories, and came up really empty there too. Tarzan, I guess, and The Iron Giant, and maybe Treasure Planet, not that I ever saw that one. I don't actually watch Teen Wolf, but gifsets on the internet suggest that the main wolf character has a good relationship with his mom? (Honestly, this is the first thing I've heard about the show that made me want to watch it. The life of a girl who loves supernatural creatures but has no interest in vampires, werewolves, and zombies, it is a hard life.) I saw a book at the library once about how our culture often sidelines and even stigmatizes close mother-son relationships (the term "momma's boy" is *not* a compliment), just at the moment when boys are going through all kinds of hormonal, emotional drama and need more support, not to be told that they're men and need to "cut the apron strings" or whatever - I spent a good while flipping through the book, although I have no memory of what it was called - and that came to mind while I was utterly failing to compile any sort of list.
litlover12 on September 7th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
There's "Psycho" . . . "A boy's best friend is his mother." ;-)

Always love your take on Amy and Rory.
tempestsarekind: rory died and turned into a romantempestsarekind on September 7th, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)

And hee - I think the book I was looking at mentioned Psycho: the author felt like she was actually really close friends with her son, but couldn't say that without getting weird looks, even though she * could* have said that if she'd been talking about a daughter.

Edited at 2013-09-07 06:51 pm (UTC)
teliesinteliesin on September 11th, 2013 10:14 am (UTC)
Can't send help now the idea is now rooted in my brain as well *smile*. I'm in the middle of reading Pamela Dean's book for the umpteenth time at the moment. Amy saves both her "boys" in much the same way not using guns like Rose.

O I forbid you, a'
That wear gowd on your hair,
To come or gae by the TARDIS,
For the young Doctor is there.

According to Dean Janet's baby is a key factor in saving Tam Lin (not specifically in the ballad). Amy's Melody saves both Rory and Amy.

tempestsarekind: amy and her boystempestsarekind on September 11th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)

I hadn't thought about Melody's place in all this - interesting!