I took my girls shopping for some summer clothes Saturday. T-shirts, jeans, shorts. They both love Marvel and superheroes and transformers and Hogwarts and stuff like that. Not so much pink and pretty stuff. They’ve both grown so much that this was the first time we were shopping in the grown up women’s section. Boring selections when it comes to t-shirts. Flowers and zebras and butterflies.
But what was making it near impossible was that all the t-shirts, the few they kinda-sorta liked, had either low/wide cut necklines or were extremely tailored for nipped in waists with little cap sleeves and short hemlines. Showing way too much skin for their ages as far as we all were concerned. So we headed over to the men’s section. A whole WALL full of properly cut tees with great designs on them!
They ran over and started hunting up things they liked. Two women were stocking shelves.
"You know these are MEN’S shirts."
"The girl’s section is over there."
"There’s not gonna be any Princesses over here, darlin’."
"These shirts are for the boys."
"This isn’t going to fit you right, honey."
I ignored the first time one of them said anything. Just told the girls what sizes they needed to look for and that they could each pick five shirts. But the women kept interrupting me. I tried to stay polite. “Yes, I know this is the men’s department.” But they kept making comments.
Finally I was getting mad. I told them we didn’t need any help. My girls were allowed to wear whatever they liked and they didn’t like the shirt designs in the women’s section and I didn’t like how low the necklines were.
Instead of just noticing that I was getting fed up with their “help”, they started arguing with me! One of them told my oldest, who is conventionally cute and skinny and starting to fill out (but still only 12), that “Oh that’s just because he’s your daddy. He doesn’t understand that a girl wants to show off for the boys!”
That was the last straw. I’m afraid I totally lost my temper. I told them (amongst a few other choice words) that they’d better walk away and come back to finish restocking the shelves once we’d left the area or I’d get the manager.
I try hard not to be rude to sales people and people in the service industry. That’s a difficult and thankless job. But for fuck’s sake! The first few comments were bad enough, but trying to undermine my moral authority with my kids? All in the name of gender and sexuality policing. They couldn’t get past the idea that my girls might prefer t-shirts that had “boy” designs on them and that didn’t hyper-sexualize them. The idea was abhorrent to them and they had to interfere and then KEEP interfering.
Once our sales “help” was gone, the girls found a bunch of shirts. Captain America, Minecraft, Doctor Who, Batman, Avengers. All the stuff they’re into. I mean, they also like MLP and Littlest Pet Shop and soft fluffy stuffed animals and Monster High dolls. We hit the toy section too for some of that stuff cos they brought their saved-up allowances with them.
At least we didn’t get any “help” in the shoe section. They’d’ve had a cow again cos while the youngest found a cute pair of pink and purple sneakers, I ‘let’ the oldest go to the men’s section and find a cool pair of dark blue and grey ones. (and omg their feet are huge! youngest wears a women’s size 9.5 and oldest wars a men’s 8. FFS, I wear a men’s 8.5. Their feet are almost as big as mine! How’d that happen?)
I hate this gender policing shit and won’t put up with it at all. I always feel for kids whose parents enforce this shit. I see it at stores when a girl or boy strays outside the lines, too often the parents are the one who pull them back into their place and it makes me sad.
Like, their friends who are boys, when they’re over at our house, they sit there and play with the girl toys as much as the boy toys. One of the boys loves playing LPS with my youngest, making up stories and stuff. The first time I walked out into the playroom and saw, he got so nervous and tried to say that he was just doing it to be nice to her. I told him that it was fine. He could play with whatever he wanted to and I wouldn’t tell anyone. Word got around to the other boys I guess cos now they all play whatever and don’t stop if I “catch” them.
I get shit from my mom about it too. I’m trying to make them into little boys. I shouldn’t have bought them trucks and toy swords when they were little. The oldest needs to learn to start wearing dresses now not just blue jeans. Why did I ‘let’ her get her hair cut short? I need to put the youngest on a diet and make her wear training bras. Why do I let them play with boys? etc etc etc.
I just find it so hard to believe that it’s the 21st century and people are still getting their knickers in a twist over this kind of thing.
Can we just stop and talk about this for a minute?
Thresh doesn’t make an alliance. Thresh doesn’t waste time liking her. Thresh knows that either he must kill her or she must kill him for one of them to win.
But this is the only way he can repay her for protecting Rue when he couldn’t. It’s the only way he can repay her for honoring Rue when he couldn’t. He honors her by sparing her friend, the girl who would have died for her.
The revolution really doesn’t start with Katniss.
It starts with Rue.
SOMEBODY FINALLY SAID IT
This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make for years. Okay, so the revolution gets it’s kindling with Katniss. She volunteers, well that’s new, she rebels in the display of talents by shooting the apple. This triggers her perfect score, okay. These aren’t really “Revolutionary” though.
It’s not even revolutionary when Peeta professes his love, because, let’s face it, the rules of the game haven’t changed. They’re still just two kids who would have to KILL each other to win. Without a doubt, it would bring some interest to the games, so the Capitol makes propaganda about it. The “Star Crossed Lovers” in a game of life and death.
But what changes the game is Rue. Right away from her introduction in the books we know Rue is going to be somewhat of a big deal. She was compared to the most important character to Katniss, Prim, so that’s a huge indicator. She’s small, young, she’s what Prim would have been.
So Katniss instantly feels a subconscious pull toward her.
When they meet in the trees, Katniss could have killed Rue easily, and Rue probably could have pulled a sneak attack or alerted the Careers of Katniss’s presence. Instead, Rue points out the Tracker Jacker nest.
Then it escalates, Rue and Katniss become an odd team, they’re an alliance, which is never new in the Hunger Games, as forming teams and then betraying them at the end seems to be a common, but there’s is different. It’s close, it’s sisterly, protective.
And then Rue get’s impaled. Katniss kills her first tribute with ease after that. Comparing it to hunting game. Katniss holds Rue, she cries, and then she sings. She sings for Rue a song of promised safety and warmth, something completely absent in the arena.
And this is where the metaphorical canon fires. Katniss could have left Rue, the hovercraft would have been along to pick her up, but she can’t. She’s morally obligated to love this girl as much as possible. And this is where the revolution starts.
She honors the dead. She honors a dead tribute from a district she’d never seen, a person she’d known for only a short period of time. But she throws away Hunger Games norms. She rejects them completely.
In the Hunger Games you’re supposed to kill mercilessly and leave the victims for the plain box they’re shipped home in.
Katniss gives Rue a funeral in the Games, she decorates the body, she makes it look like Rue is sleeping. Like no harm had come. Katniss just ignited the coals that Rue had placed.
Rue’s District sends a parachute. Homemade bread.
Then Thresh kills Clove and distracts Cato by taking his bag.
The fire is going now, and the actions in Catching Fire are even more obvious.
The Speech for Rue. Peeta’s painting. Everything eludes back to this one little girl who became Katniss’s family.
So the revolution never started with Katniss, she was just the tinder for Rue’s ignition.
Rue was the real Mockingjay.
Also, who’s four note whistle is constantly attached to the trailers?
Rue is omnipresent in the books and movies, and I absolutely love it.