let's get the seven lines. (bookshop) wrote,
let's get the seven lines.

Ain't it a Shame about Mae

The levels of straight, cisgendered, white, male privilege are so high this week you could fill not only a knapsack but one of those giant swiss army backpacks, and then have some left over for a couple of rooms in Mad Eye Moody's trunk.

and then there's this, which hits so close to home that i can only opt for the time-tested method of avoidance, aka getting drunk and playing crappy piano improv while belting out torch songs, to keep from telling you all exactly how and why this - "Knapp is very clear that she is not marketing herself as a Christian artist, a term with which she said she has never been comfortable. She's no longer on a Christian-based record label, and her new album of folksy rock songs is described as being about "inner-conflicts, spirituality and life lessons." - breaks my heart.

BUT FIRST: a note on Mae Crawford.

9 reasons why Mae Crawford is the best and I will brook no arguments!!!!!!

(this was supposed to be intelligent meta but am sort of tipsy, typing is hard. spoilers for all of book 1 of The Demon's Lexicon series below.)

9. She was obviously named after not only Mae West but Mary Crawford, and two more awesome ladies of stage and fiction I defy you to find anywhere. DON'T ARGUE, this is my personal canon, therefore it is so.

8. SHE IS PHYSICALLY CONFIDENT. how fearless do you have to be to have pink hair? even more telling is how fearless she is with her entire body. She's described as being "on the curvy side," but she's confident about her looks and her body in a way that I love. FOR INSTANCE:
a) she wears crop tops with her amazing curves, i know i mentioned this last post but screw that, it is so amazing it deserves mentioning twice: a non-skinny girl who shows off her stomach. that is so important to me. :(
b) despite the fact that you could, uh, DIE OR BE POSSESSED if you get the movements of the dance wrong, or risk losing your one and only chance to save your baby brother, Mae insists on the chance to dance in the demon's circle, and she learns the moves and does them perfectly, sensually, sexily.

a) she's not afraid to kill when it's the life of someone she loves on the line.
b) nick draws his sword on her ONLY A HUNDRED TIMES and she never ever flinches. by the 88th time you're thinking he's probably doing it just to see if he can get to her eeeeeeven a little bit. NOPE.
c) she knocks aside Nick's offer of a safety harness and climbs ropes free-handed. Reckless? Sure. But gutsy. I LOVE THIS GIRL.

Mae walked in the door at that point. She pushed Jamie's hair out of his eyes as she went by, then took a proper look at his pale face. She stooped and kissed his forehead before she went to get her muesli. They were always doing stuff like that, as if they thought it was normal. - The Demon's Lexicon, p. 131


5. SHE SEES THROUGH THE DANGEROUS BOY. Is Mae going to let you use her, toy with her affections, and/or take advantage of her, physically or otherwise? HELL NO. SHE IS GOING TO TELL YOU WHERE TO GET OFF, and it will not be near her, no, nor near the knickers she is casual enough to leave lying around on the floor of her bedroom.

(contrast this with Bella: sure, stalk me, it only makes me love you more! and Hush, Hush: sure, repeatedly try to kill me and threaten to rape me! i know eventually you'll FALL IN LOVE WITH ME, REALLY.)

4. She's lowkey and laidback. I have heard some people say they find Mae bland. I confess this baffles me. You do not call someone who knifes someone below the ribs in order to more effectively kill them "bland." UNLESS I AM MUCH MISTAKEN!

Even more mystifying to me is that I have also heard it said that she is too "spunky." What does "spunky" mean, anyway? It makes me think of, like, idk, Small Wonder or those feisty Disney Channel kids, or maybe D.J. Tanner (oh, i am so old). But what it doesn't make me think of is Mae, who never really raises her voice, gets mad, or gets emotional until someone threatens her brother. Mae doesn't have anything to prove. She's independent. In fact she says as much, when she's letting Nick have it: "I trust Alan, but I don't rely on anyone."

What she's not is some hyper combination of spunky, spirited, or Sue. Mae is independent. One of these things is not like the others.

3. She's Practical.

Seriously, Alan's plans are "KILL THEM ALL" and Nick's plans are "GLARE THEM INTO SUBMISSION" and Jamie's plans are "JOKE AROUND AND THEN HIDE" and Mae's plans are "go to planning information at the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and pretend to be a niece doing a school project so we can get a floor plan diagram of our enemy's lair." AWESOME.

2. She has pink hair. Enough said.

1. She's loving.

Mae's not afraid to be nurturing, or caring, or kind. She touches her brother regularly, and strokes Nick's hair when he's seasick. She holds Alan's hands when he's having nightmares, and kisses his forehead. She's not afraid to touch and be affectionate in ways that I think a lot of writers shy away from in their female main characters, because we've been trained to see overt touching and expressions of affection as girly and therefore weak. But in Mae, that expression of femininity is never played as a tool, or seen as some kind of ploy to invite romance, or seen as anything except what it is: emotional strength and maturity.

I love that about her. I love that she's so expressive with her actions and her gestures and her moments of physical contact, while still exerting strength and keeping herself autonomous from everyone who could make her vulnerable. And what she does, each and every time she reaches out in those ways, is pull the four of them closer together, binding them all with love.

My favorite example of this is at the end:

At the sound of Alan's voice, Jamie stopped looking lost in troubled thought and looked instead at his sister. He went over to her at once, looked anxiously up at her, then reached out and wrapped a protective arm around her shoulders.

She smiled properly then, dropping a kiss on his head. That was good, Nick thought.

Mae is amazing. <3 I love her so much.


You can also read the discussion on LJ!

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth, where there are currently comment count unavailablecomments!
Tags: books

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.