The Mary Sue

Posts by Alysa Auriemma

How I Discovered the Quiet, Feminist Liberation of Erotic Fanfic

There is a safe space that fanfiction provides for autonomy and feminism through an exploration of kink and sensuality, dominated by the written word.

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How My ADHD/OCD Fueled My Geekiness—and Why It Took Decades for Me to Get Help

If you're a woman, it's easy to dismiss your mental health as just something else in the laundry list of things society tells you is wrong with you.

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What Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer Get Wrong About Sexual Assault

To dismiss us as needing to be stronger can dismiss the women who still feel heartbreakingly fragile, and it vastly narrows and undermines Dunham and Schumer’s interpretations of feminism to a solipsistic, privileged lens.

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The Red Ledger: 3 MCU Moments That Highlight Black Widow’s Nuance and Badassery

Black Widow is a needed shot of estrogen in a male-dominated comics landscape, unique in many ways because she is a woman; she is able to use her her femininity and the stereotypes people expect of women to her advantage, and as a result, is an example of a feminism that can exploit from inside an established, patriarchal system. She plays the game better than anyone, because she has had little to no choice.

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“I Can’t Trust My Own Mind”: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Engages with Trauma

Let's stop woobifying bodily and mental violations.

What I find so valuable about the MCU is that its films don’t try to "fix" the traumas of each character; they simply show us the trauma occurring and the consequences of how they choose to deal with their mental state. They are forced to confront not only the international consequences of their actions, but also the personal impact their work has on them, and we as the audience are never truly given resolution.

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Look at Me: Makeup YouTubers Leading a Quiet Revolution

These YouTubers, whether you’ve heard of them or not, are quietly revolutionizing the way millennials or anyone with a YouTube account sees beauty standards and, subsequently, themselves.

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“I Don’t Like Bullies”: Captain America and a New Masculinity

We talk a lot about what's expected of girls, right from the time they're born, but we don’t talk nearly as much about the ways in which we teach our boys to become “men” through what Salon calls a “crushing socialization.” These issues should be just as important to feminists, for toxic masculinity is one of the bricks that seal up those patriarchal walls we're trying to smash.

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How Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Brought New Diversity to Broadway

When it was announced that Spring Awakening, the 2007 Best Musical Tony winner, would get a full revival on Broadway in the fall of 2015, the reaction from most non-theater-geeks was puzzlement. Why would a show that just closed in January of 2009 - a show that received glowing reviews and was hailed as a new vanguard of contemporary musical theater - get a revival so soon?

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What Oprah Is Getting (Dangerously) Wrong About the Fat Experience in Weight Watchers Messaging

Now, Oprah has turned her eye to Weight Watchers, becoming the latest spokesperson for the company. In a series of new commercials, Oprah talks about her desires to live her best life and connects that with weight loss and wellness. Sitting in a lounge chair, her eyes radiating that warmth and empathy I so strongly associate with her, Oprah passionately states, “Inside every overweight woman is the woman she knows she can be.” I’m sorry. What?

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The Radical Monarchs Want to Change the World, One Young Girl at a Time

While the Radical Monarchs of Oakland, California, are not officially affiliated with the Girl Scouts, they are the only group of this kind in the United States—­a pro­-girl organization entirely composed of young girls of color, in which girls can freely express themselves, learn more about their history, and empower themselves in a group of their peers.

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