Apologizing is a survival skill in a society where women are penalized, personally and professionally, for being abrasive, for speaking their minds, for not smoothing their sharp edges down, for not fitting in. Apologizing is a way of saying I know I’m smart but I don’t mean to be. I know I take up space but I’m trying not to. I want you to like me more than I want to be right. These are things the world demands from women. If you don’t provide them, it punishes you.
…Reflexively apologizing is a habit women develop because we live in a misogynistic society that penalizes us if we’re perceived as too assertive. We live in a world that is constantly, often mindlessly but sometimes maliciously, reminding us to get back in our place. Women who over-apologize don’t do it because we feel that our bodies and ideas and emotions are unworthy of the space they’re taking up, but because we have subconsciously absorbed the reality that other people do, and will treat us worse if we refuse to play along. It’s not an intentional attempt to undermine ourselves. It’s a flinch back from the fire.
…I’ve taken to calling this kind of rhetoric “stop-hitting-yourself feminism.” It presumes that all the oppression women face is perpetuated solely by ourselves, and that if every woman (individually, not collectively) just decided to be confident and powerful, patriarchy and its effects would vanish overnight. In this worldview, the only reason any woman experiences sexism is that she simply hasn’t made the choice to shake it off."
Theory: The Shi’ar Empire is matrilineal, and royal title is normally passed down the female line. Majetrixes are shown to be competent leaders, while Majestors reveal the unfitness of their gender for rule.
Lilandra Neramani, probably the best known Shi’ar character. Took over the empire after her sister was exiled & her brother was super evil, and was a benevolent ruler, while not “peaceful” by human standards, in keeping with the values & morals of the Shi’ar. One of the main reasons the X-men keep getting pulled into cosmic stuff, as Charles Xavier is her lover. I put it this way rather than the other way round as it seemed to me they were together when she called for him, essentially. She’d be like, “I got a minute to spare on this space empire thing,” and off he would go to be with her.
D’ken Neramani, previously mentioned evil brother who tried to use the M’kann Crystal to take over the universe and opened up all that Phoenix nonsense. Went mad with power and was clearly never meant to take on a position of such importance.
Cal’syee Nermani (Deathbird), previously mentioned exiled sister. She was the eldest of the three, and the rightful heir until her exile for killing their parents. “Matricide” is the specific accusation Lilandra makes, this being apparently the greater crime, which makes sense if her father married into the royal line. She agitated to overthrow her evil brother & Lilandra both at times, and ruled for some short periods. After joining forces with her sister to throw out the invading Skrull, she officially abdicated & was appointed viceroy of Hala (which was under Shi’ar control at the time.) Spent a bit of time kicking around Earth, as a “villain,” fighting Carol Danvers & as an anti-hero travelling with Bishop.
Gabriel Summers (Vulcan) - Eesh, the stupid. Married Cal’syee and thought this gave him the right to rule over an alien people. Dictatorial, out of touch, might makes right, evil and stupid and I don’t even want to know what the writers were thinking. Oh, and went mad with power which means Shi’ar have even more reason to think males unsuited.
Kallark (Gladiator) - also not Shi’ar, and ruling purely under the “no one left” presumption, and under the boot of the Kree, to boot.
Headcanon that there’s a young girl in the bloodline they’re keeping secret while he acts as regent who will restore the empire right quick once she gets big enough.
If you were Shi’ar, which of the above would you want in charge?
Next up, part II, “Whose Story,” reviewing which Shi’ar characters have been most important to Marvel storytelling through the years (hint: they are female!)
WHEN U LOVE SOMETHING SO HARD BUT THE FANDOM CONSISTS OF APPROXIMATELY SIX OTHER PEOPLE AND A SHOELACE
I will have to do my post on my Shi’ar as a matriarchal society theory for you sometime then? Male OC Shi’ar who naturally talks to the woman of the group first & follows her orders without thinking about it?