So all these little gift ficlets are amazing, but I am also enjoying the chance to meet people from other fandoms. Thanks in large part to where_no_woman, Star Trek will always be my main fandom, but I have wanted to branch out for a long time. I just haven't done that since Star Trek feels so much like home that wandering off into other fandoms is scary. This little ficathon was the perfect push to find good authors and interesting meta, and maybe even make some new friends.
I have particularly enjoyed a couple pieces of meta I found by clicking on random user names. Gaius Baltar: Safety in Objectification by ivanolix describes two types of objectification. Id-objectification is "the kind we can't escape and shouldn't be trying to police—it's the kind that springs from unconscious attraction to certain things. Like breasts, toned abs, biceps, bright eyes." The other, harmful type of objectification is power-objectification, and it "has nothing, really, to do with the women at all. They might as well be props. What matters is the control that the objectifier has, even if it's just in a fantasy while looking at an image." This is all so much more complex (and well explained) in her original essay, but these two ideas stuck with me because they articulated something I couldn't. As a bisexual woman whose attraction to other women is primarily sexual, I often feel that I objectify women. I can't help it. They're beautiful, and I just really, really like to stare at them. I don't think that's something I should feel bad about, or something that harms those women. But then, that's probably because it's the id type of objectification and not the power type of objectification. Like, (feel free to laugh at me for this), I have a huge crush on Sunny Anderson from the Food Network. A lot of that crush comes from her thighs, which you can only see in the rare moments when she steps away from the counter on her cooking show, but it's also about her smile, her cooking, and her life in the Air Force before she was on TV. So, even though I stare at her thighs a lot, I wouldn't find her nearly as attractive if she were photographed in, say, Maxim, a publication which seems designed to titillate male viewers while offering little self-expression to its female models.
I also really enjoyed Fiction, gender, women's pain and MAN PAIN by prozacpark, which is less personal to me than the previous piece of meta, but it articulates some interesting points about how male characters are allowed to be very self-involved when in pain, but women who do the same are viewed as bitchy or whiny. There are lots of interesting examples from series TV, like Angel, BtVS, and BSG, so it's accessible to people from a lot of different fandom backgrounds. It is pretty lengthy, but still understandable if you only have time for a quick skim.