Saturday, April 19, 2014

Acceptance and Feminism

Lol that title sounds really deep. 
This post is not very deep. It's about something that a girl at school told me at lunch the other day, and it was something that was very interesting, and very true. It's also about feminism. Mostly about what she said.
*I also have some questions/comments/disclaimers at the very bottom of the post that I'd like y'all to read :p *
Feminism: The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. (
Let us look at various instances in my life and my rambling, that all leads up to something that Audrey said to me. Something that I had always known, but something that I never knew. It was like when I woke up in a cold sweat a few days after I turned sixteen and whispered to myself "oh. my. god. I'm 16. I'm the same age as Zuko." I knew I was 16, but it didn't hit me until I related it to something so important to me. 

As my friends and I were eating lunch on Thursday, we overheard someone at another table make a joke about feminists. I honestly don't remember the joke, but it was kind of funny, and the person telling it started with "Don't be offended. This is just a joke."

She continued on, and I half listened, too involved with eating a somewhat messy sandwich to really care that much.

Hashini, one of my very best friends, looked over at Alana and I shyly and said "I've hear 'feminist, feminist, feminist' all the time, but what is a feminist?"

Alana said something along the lines of "Extremists who burn bras and hate men."

I knew feminists have a bad name from the crazy extremists, but, come on, we're not all that bad.

Oh, wait, I never told my friends I'm consider myself a feminist because when I bring it up, they look at me like I'm crazy.

I remember not wanting to mention anything at school that could sound vaguely feminist, because so many students at my school refer to feminists as "feminazis". Sexist jokes litter the side comments in lectures. Encouraging the boys to to better in class "so that they can support a family" is an underlying theme in the school. My history teacher said that "feminism is useless and only hurting feminists cause.*"

I dare you, Mr. History Teacher, to tell that to Malala Yousafzai, who was shot because she believed girls should be educated. Tell that to the woman who used to cut my mom's hair, was kidnaped as a child because her necklace hung outside of her abaya. Tell that to the poor girl in Steubenville, who's rapists were pitied by the news, their futures mourned, while she was shamed because she couldn't stop them. Tell that to my friend who's pastor told her "Your parents wish you were a boy", even though that was not true. Tell that to the women all over the world who are treated as less because of their gender!

Maybe the US no longer needs feminism on a grand scale, but much of the world still does. Until you can tell me that in ever nation across the planet women are safe, allowed to learn, and treated equally and with respect, I will not stop being a feminist.

I go to a Christian school, and, honestly, I believe Christians more than anyone should be the most likely to support equal rights. Of course, it doesn't work like that. One time in class, some guy made a really sexist joke. I was too slow to react, and then someone else chimed in with "Oh, don't say that in front of Lexi, she's one of those feminazis."

Tell me- how many feminists have killed by the millions simply to make their point?


I stayed silent about my views on feminism, because I see the flaws in the system and realized that it is not the best word to attach to my name. So I was ashamed. 

But I guess God did not want that. 

I looked at Hashini and told her "Not all feminists are that bad. I consider myself a feminist, but I don't really like telling people that, because of the... misconceptions and extremists attached to the name."

Because, let's face it, there are the extremists that Alana mentioned.

After I said that Audrey (who is someone that I really admire, she's in our performing arts class, and is an amazing actress/singer/person) turned around from where she was sitting and said something relatively profound to me.

She turned around and said, "But if you hide that your a feminist, then you can never make the image of a feminist better,"

Woah. That wasn't some "be yourself and support what you want" crap, that was actually pretty insightful. And she didn't stop there.

"If feminism is seen as something so bad, then there are more people, louder people giving it a bad name then there are people who are doing the right. It's like being a Christian. Do you hide being a Christian because of the negative stereo types? Of corse not! You do your best to show people the good in Christianity. Just because you're Christian doesn't mean that you're... oh, I don't know, an over-zealous 'dirt-bag republican' that everyone makes us out to be.

You need to treat feminism in the same way. Don't hide your beliefs because people have a negative view of them. Instead, change that view, be the good that people see in it. Be the one who people look up to and say 'That's what a real... whatever... looks like'. There's no use hiding yourself, that doesn't help you or anyone else."


(I give some credit to myself for paraphrasing her)
She has a point, though, and not just about feminism. It really applies to many other aspects of life (like how she mentioned Christianity). I just thought I would share with you.


*In some ways he is right. Like the extremists Alana mentioned. People see them and distance themselves from feminism. I see his point, but in the context of the time, he was wrong.

I realize that feminism is a mix of good and bad. Feel free to ask me questions on any of my beliefs. I'm not exactly going to walk around with "feminist" painted on my forehead. Nope. I'm not going to be a crazy internet activist, either, because that would get me no where. I'm just going to continue to support the girls all over the world who still are not treated equality. Also, hating men is not feminism, that's sexism.

Obviously I paraphrased Audrey, but I do remember quite a bit of what she said, and I did my best to keep it to that.

My post on Kraken Con will be up soon. And hopefully my FMA/FMA:B comparison will be up by mid-June. Sorry, but school's busy, and it doesn't allow for me to write a full-blown comparison on two shows. I'll try to get my art up on time  (May 1... I'm doing two months/one post), but I can't find my camera's charger!

I'm thinking of changing my blog's name. Idk what to, but I'm not sure if I want to. Any suggestions?
Also, I may change my internet name to ShaakThusa, because that's more... me. (mash-up of Shaak Ti and Aithusa, my two main internet names. Obviously I would still just be called "Shaak", but still)

Let me know how you like the Verdana font, I find it easier to read, and I hope y'all do, too.

And a page just shared this on facebook, and I feel like it's relevant.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Azula and Aang Cosplay Pt. 4 COMPLETE!!

Ok, so last part: the dress and Aang.

I stayed up until 10 the night before the convention modifying the dress, which I cut to look like this:

and added trim with fabric similar to this.

And that's it, really. On the day of the con I did smokey eyeshadow with red in the crease, and did general cosplay makeup... yep. I did most of it in the car lol.

For Aang we got a yard and a half of orange fabric, a yard of yellow fabric, and some red woven material. We basically safety pinned it like a toga. He wore brown pants, black tennis shoes, and a wig cap that I painted the arrow over.

So, yep, that's it! I'll have a post about the convention (and pics) up soon!

Oh! And I found this on tumblr... if you scroll down, the second picture is of my brother and I!

~Shaak Ti

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Azula (and Aang) Cosplay Pt. 3- Armor

Armor armor armor armor

Gahhhhh this was so stressful and fun and amazing!

I really learned a lot through this part of the process. I hadn't worked much with vinyl before, and never on this large a scale. Oh well, here's some pictures of the progress...

What I used:

  • Exacto Knife
  • 1 yd. black vinyl
  • 1/3 yd. red vinyl
  • 1/3 yd. cream vinyl
  • 1 yd. red rope
  • 1 yd. black rope
  • 1 yd. cream rope
  • Leather hole puncher
  • plastic board
  • art board
  • patterns from drafting paper
  • comic book (straight edge)

Belt Buckle- the Fire Nation Phoenix 

Ready to begin on the details!

Shoulder Pad
Shoulder Pad Detail
Other Shoulder Pad thing
Glove ties

Oh, doesn't my room look lovely ;p
And finally, the wig (took me an hour and a half to style... oh, well, it's done now, yay!)

Well, the convention's tomorrow! I'm so excited! Tonight I'll be doing the final run-through with the costume, to make sure it all works, and I'll have some better pictures of it when I'm back. Haha I'll have lots of pictures and notes and all sorts of stuff when I come back! I'm SO  EXCITED I JUST :LSDKJFLSDKFJSDL:FKJ

*cough* yep