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Steed knows what Nazis are for. Nazis are for thrashing.

The world had this conversation once before.
The Nazis didn’t win then. And they’re not gonna win now.

Stay strong, Charlottesville. And stay safe.

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Avenging for Autism Acceptance

So I’ve started putting together images and captions connecting Avengers and Autism $peaks’ annual trolling for contributions. I’m going to add one every day them occasionally through the month of April. I won’t be making these separate blogs, just updating this one accordingly.

Off we go, then.

(Wondering why Autism $peaks is bad? Don’t take my word for it. Check this out instead.)

17 april

silentdust.hatsacrilegeAnd Steed was all, “VACCINES. DO. NOT. CAUSE. AUTISM.”

(more…)

A PSA for “Autism Awareness” Month

So hey, all y’all out there in blog-land: It’s almost April, so you know what that means! Autism $peaks is gonna be asking y’all to Light It Up Blue.

Therefore I am here to ask you to just not.

Please don’t do it.

But why? you ask.

This is because

  • Autism $peaks is a hate group whose work actively harms autistic people
  • They advocate for the use of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), which is a form of abuse that leaves most autistics who undergo it with bad cases of PTSD
  • They treat autism as a tragedy and a disease that must be eradicated at all costs
  • When an autistic child is murdered by their parents, they sympathise with the parents
  • There are no autistic people on their board, and when autistic people ask them to change what they do, they refuse
  • They support the work of the Judge Rothenberg Center, which uses electroshock and other “treatments” that are little more than torture
  • They refuse to acknowledge that autism is a valid way of being and instead work towards the erasure of autism and autistics by insisting on looking for “cures” (PSA: there is no “cure” for autism; it’s a neurology, not a disease)
  • The blue color is taken from the fact that boys are more likely to be diagnosed with autism, not because autism actually affects more boys but because the diagnostic criteria don’t acknowledge the way autism presents in girls (PSA: it presents differently in girls than in boys in a lot of cases) so on top of all the other wonderful things they do, they’re sexist
  • Only about 4% of the money they raise goes to actually benefitting actual autistic people

So please, please, please:

Don’t light it up blue.

We’re not colored lights.

We’re not puzzle pieces.

We’re not tragedies.

We’re not diseased.

We don’t need to be “cured.”

We’re autistic. Our brains work differently, that’s all.

And we’re just as human as anybody else.

Thanks.

Some Avenging Thoughts on International Women’s Day

When Avengers first aired, it was a show starring Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel, and John Steed (played by Patrick Macnee) was a secondary character. When Hendry quit after one season, the producers decided to make Steed the main character, and to give him a female partner. They hired Honor Blackman for the role, as Catherine Gale. Because they had a bunch of Hendry scripts left over, and because they didn’t have a budget to commission more, they ended up adapting scripts originally written for the male character of Dr David Keel to the female character of Catherine Gale.

The Gale era of Avengers was a watershed in television history. Catherine Gale was the first female character on television to be treated as not only the complete equal of her male partner, but as better than he was at some things. And not only that, it was done with utter seriousness: Steed was in no way threatened by Mrs Gale’s skills and strengths (in fact, he is regularly bowled over by her), and her character was not written either with lampoon of gender roles in mind or as any kind of misandrist.

Catherine Gale was a PhD in anthropology; a supremely intelligent woman who could think her way out of almost any problem; a judoka who could pummel the tar out of pretty much any opponent (Blackman actually learned judo for real for the role and did her own stunts); a crack shot and big game hunter; a freelance contractor who could do anything from help manage a charity to write essays about medieval couture to catalogue a museum. She helped Steed collar the bad guys on a regular basis, working side by side with him as his equal, not as his subordinate or sidekick. She never played the damsel in distress, and although Steed had to rescue her occasionally, she had her own chances to repay the favor when the baddies captured him.

Catherine Gale would become the inspiration for the character of Emma Peel, who maintained the relationship of equals and high level of badassery of her predecessor. Both characters have been a source of inspiration for generations of women audience members.

But it was Catherine Gale, PhD, a woman who took no shit and gave no fucks, who broke that barrier first.

So here’s to Honor Blackman and Catherine Gale, original badasses both.

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What I Learned from Catherine Gale

So I finally buckled down and got one of these lists together for Cathy Gale.

  • Have your own unique sense of style. Wear what works for you.

  • Have strong boundaries and enforce them.

  • If your best friend does something that hurts you, forgive them, but don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel about what they did.

  • Don’t be afraid to say no, and mean it.

  • Have a clear sense of your own values and be willing to fight for them.

  • Know that your feelings are valid, even the unpleasant ones, and allow yourself to experience them.

  • Have at least one intelligent and very good friend who always has your back, whose talents and skills complement your own, and who always treats you as an equal.

  • Never, ever sell yourself short or pretend to be anything less than you are in order to make others feel comfortable with you.

  • When someone disrespects or attacks you, deal with them. Judo works nicely, but always adapt your approach to fit the situation.

  • Find a way to make a living that lets you draw on your interests, passions, and education. Be flexible and willing to try new things.

  • If a friend asks for help, do your best to accommodate them.

  • Never apologize for being skilled, intelligent, and strong.

  • Drink some champagne with a friend every day.

  • Live each day as though it could be your last. Because it very well might be.


blogs in this series:
what i learned from john steed
what i learned from emma peel
what i learned from catherine gale

What I Learned from Emma Peel

Here’s another list of things I learned by watching Seasons 4 and 5.

  • Be comfortable in your own skin and unashamed of your body.

  • Wear clothing that you feel elegant and strong in, but that doesn’t get in your way when you have work to do or an emergency to deal with.

  • Have knowledge, talents, and skills that serve you well.

  • If others underestimate you, use this to your own advantage. Success is the best revenge.

  • Keep a cool head under fire.

  • Have at least one intelligent and very good friend who always has your back, whose talents and skill complement your own, and who always treats you as an equal.

  • Have confidence that you can solve problems and get out of sticky situations on your own, but also know how to ask for help.

  • When someone disrespects or attacks you, deal with them. Martial arts work nicely, but always adapt your approach to fit the situation.

  • Have interests outside of work and family that make you happy, and take time to indulge these.

  • Be open to making new friends, even if later they might turn out to be enemies.

  • Don’t be afraid to look foolish, especially if that’s what’s needed to get the job done.

  • Drink some champagne with a friend every day.

  • Live each day as though it could be your last. Because it very well might be.


    blogs in this series:
    what i learned from john steed
    what i learned from emma peel
    what i learned from catherine gale

What I Learned from John Steed

I came up with this list of things I learned from Steed after I watched the Emma Peel episodes for the first time.

  • Find a style that suits you and wear it with panache.

  • Have a job you enjoy and are good at.

  • Treat everyone with respect, even the baddies who are trying to kill you.

  • Don’t pick fights except to defend someone else, but if someone picks a fight with you, fight to win.

  • Be laid back, friendly, and cheerful, but make sure this is wrapped around a core of razor-sharp steel, in case someone thinks you’re a pushover and tries to take advantage of you.

  • Have a quick wit and a good sense of humor. Use these often, but especially when you’re in deep trouble.

  • If something goes wrong, don’t whine about it. Look for solutions instead, and ask for help if you need it.

  • Don’t be afraid to improvise.

  • Have at least one really good friend who is smart and talented and whose skills complement yours, and who will always have your back.

  • If your friends get in trouble, help them as much as you can.

  • Take time to appreciate the finer things in life.

  • If you get an opportunity to wear a kilt, take it.

  • Drink some champagne with a friend every day.

  • Live each day as though it could be your last. Because it very well might be.


blogs in this series:
what i learned from john steed
what i learned from emma peel
what i learned from catherine gale