JFC I WANNA CRY!
JFC I WANNA CRY!
Curling my hair. If you’re gonna have accidental frenchy hair, you gotta go big or go home.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT
This is beautiful and wonderful and I love every single thing about it. I want to print these onto a poster and frame it.
ARE YOU EVEN FUCKING KIDDING ME.
Amazing while I blow dry. I accidentally dyed some of my bangs Frenchy pink.
We’d been through a few marriage counselling sessions. I’d started to see a little more clearly how he thought I held him down. He kept saying it wasn’t me stifling him but the guilt of having to be a good husband. That statement produced infinite irritation in me. I’d never told him he had…
I have like 9,000 issues with this post. While the idea of encouraging the dreams of your partner is nice, the framing is so deeply flawed I can’t even.
Firstly, the whole premise of peter pan is that Wendy doesn’t want to grow up either- THAT IS WHY SHE GOES WITH PETER PAN.
Peter Pan is set in Britain at the turn of the last century. At that time women had just barely gotten the right to own property, and they wouldn’t succeed in getting the right to vote for another 10-20 years. Adult womanhood often meant abdicating your entire personhood: this was very much still a time when a woman belonged to her father until she belonged to her husband.
In short, Wendy has a lot more of a reason to want to flee from “growing up” than Peter Pan, who should he have decided to grow into an adult white male, would have still been treated as a person with autonomy and societal rights.
..So Wendy finds out that she is about to be forced to grow up- which in her case is not dissimilar from being told that she is about to be committed to a life of servitude. Peter Pan shows up, and offers her a way out, an alternative. He offers her freedom and adventure.
And what Peter Pan gives Wendy upon arrival to Neverland is not adventure. He gives her parenthood. He is not recognizing or supporting her as a person with ideas, with an “adventurous heart”. He does not respect her space to express her own wildness, her own ferocity. He tells her that she is now in charge of parenting a dozen boys (boys who get to run free, have adventures, and be entirely irresponsible).
Peter Pan essentially puts Wendy in a simulation of *the exact* situation that he initially offered to help her escape. There are times when she is actively denied participation in adventures, she is endangered for the whims of others, she is abandoned and left alone to take care of things while the boys pursue their every impulse, and at no point is she allowed to guide her own story.
The reality of this story is that Wendy is offered freedom and adventure and recognition and then expected to hold the responsibilities of EVERYBODY AROUND HER. Psych!
And when she does? NOBODY IS GRATEFUL.
Is is not unreasonable to desire recognition, gratitude, and respect in the face of negligence, control, and disrespect. I think Wendy is 100% justified in wanting the people around her to recognize her as equally wild and for them to equally share responsibility. Wendy is allowed to want Peter Pan to say “hey, I see you did this, and I’m sorry that I put you in this harmful and degrading situation, and thank you thank you for all the work you have done out of your care for us.”
And even if Wendy isn’t feeling ANY of those things and she really does want Peter to “give it all up” (meaning his dreams, plans, and freedoms) that is still no less than what he has expected of her from the getgo.
And because Wendy is thoughtful and responsible and empathetic, she knows that she cannot keep herself and her brothers in Neverland forever- she anticipates and empathizes with the effect their disappearance will have on her parents- she anticipates that Neverland is not a place where her brothers will grow into the adults they have the potential to be- she wants to take responsibility for those choices in a way that cares for the feelings and best interests of those who love her.
I don’t know the author, her husband, or her life. But this statement really struck me: “Wendy is not a cool girl. She’s not willing to compromise. It’s all or nothing. She’s staying in the real world and if he loves her then he will give up everything and everyone he’s ever known and loved for her. Not cool.”
The reality of Wendy & Peter Pan’s situation is that if Peter pan and Wendy want to stay together they are at an impasse- he can give it all up and be with her, or she can give it all up and be with him, but it’s very hard for EITHER OF THEM to “compromise”. There is no time share in Neverland, friends. You can’t commute there for the weekend.
This is not the result of Wendy’s unwillingness to compromise, this is just the result of the situation being what it is. Wendy is not obligated to take responsibility for it, and she is not a manipulative bitch for choosing not to.
The author completely glosses over the fact that at no point does Peter even *attempt* to compromise. She also completely ignores the fact that the only alternative to Peter giving up everything he knows and loves id for Wendy to give up everything that she has ever known or loved. It seems like that doesn’t matter. We have already established that her life is less important. Peter Pan is the protagonist. Wendy is a plot device. It is assumed that compromise and responsibility are Wendy’s job, and if she doesn’t continue to do it without complaint it is “not cool”.
This is not fair and not healthy. It not only continues to displace all responsibility onto the “wendy” partner, but it effectively villainizes her for any attempt to advocate for herself. It also continues to enable the “Peter” character to avoid personal growth and equal membership in that partnership.
Furthermore this misogynist relationship framework obfuscates and normalizes relationship patterns that are actually incredibly emotionally abusive.
In fact, Peter Pan and Wendy’ relationship clinically meet an astonishing number of the criteria of emotional abuse (taken from Binderman’s Chart of Coercion):
Deprives the victim of all social support necessary for the ability to resist. (takes her to a different land inaccessible to her parents)
Develops an intense concern for self. (Peter’s needs and desired are always framed as primary)
Causes victims to depend on the victimizer. (Wendy does not have the capacity to go home, navigate the landscape safely, or even procure food safely on her own)
- Monopolization of Perception:
Fixes attention upon immediate predicament and fosters introspection. (Wendy is given many responsibilities that keep her in the situation, her attention is always being drawn to a way she must caretake for others)
Eliminates stimuli competing with those controlled by the captor.(only exposed to Peter and the lost boys, there is nobody around for whom she is a primary concern. Peter often ignores or puts down the value of Wendy’s desires, opinions and accomplishments )
Frustrates all actions not consistent with compliance. (shame and blame for lack of “compromise”)
- Occasional Indulgences:
Provides positive motivation for continued compliance. (Wendy is given occasional moments of time when Peter’s attention is focused on her, when he behaves as if she is important to him, although these moments are never reliable, and he never commits to prioritizing her or his relationship to her. It is never entirely clear if he really appreciates her as a person or if he appreciated her function of caretaking and responsibility)
- Demonstrating “Omnipotence”:
Suggests futility of resistance. (Peter assumes that it is his place to direct Wendy’s place and activities, which is then reinforced by an environment that Peter has created)
- Enforcing Trivial Demands:
Develops habits of compliance (constant mothering/ meeting the needs of Peter and the lost boys)
Makes cost of resistance appear more damaging to the self-esteem than capitulation (categorizing any act of resistance or self advocacy as selfish, or negligent as a “mother”)
The logic that *further* supporting your already emotionally abusive partner will somehow fix your relationship is clearly deeply flawed.
A negligent partner will never come around if you just efface yourself MORE.
The whole point of Peter Pan is that it is developmentally arrested to function as if your life and interests are the most important ones in the world and assume that everyone around you only matters to the degree that they can work as a plot device for your story.
Peter Pans *need* to grow up and realize that EVERYONE NEEDS THE SPACE TO BE THEIR OWN PROTAGONIST.
Wendys deserve the space to be their own protagonist, and it is emotionally abusive to deny it to them. They don’t owe ANYONE your time or freedom or kisses or thimbles.
Sew your own fucking shadow on.
I want you all to know how fucking amazing I looked today but I am exhausted, so here is another selfie.
Johnson’s New Cyclopedia at The Wistariahurst Museum.
Water Babies and A Jolly Good Summer at The Wistariahurst Museum.
My mom’s art is not for people with vertigo.