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17 thoughts on “CH12.5 – PART 5

  1. rocky is so lucky to have experienced being held in the arms of her big buff sister

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    1. Absolutely!

  2. I love how Miriam appears to have IMMEDIATELY stopped wearing makeup after Chris is out of her life 😊

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    1. Yessss. She wasn’t wearing it on the day if their escape. Her first taste of freedom.

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  3. “I ❤️ Shanzey”

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  4. This is fine. This is fine, everything’s fine and I am completely normal about this. ;A;

    1. 🥰🥰🥰

  5. Rocky’s little smile to Meriam and “I ❤ Shanzey” on Shez’s bandages… 😭

  6. Parniya’s biggest fan

    Rocky being left mute is heartbreaking… I hate men 💔

    Hasn’t Chris taken enough that he shouldn’t feel the need to take a young girls voice away??

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  7. Ahh Miriam is such a good mum… Still breaks my heart that Rocky became mute from that incident, at least she has a wonderful family

  8. This chapter has really conflicted me about shez’s self sacrifice for her family… I think because I came from a similar situation, only with a mother who would always pick my abusive father over me (tmi a bit, sorry).

    The expectation is always on women to sacrifice, and in radfem circles I find more of the same, only this time about female class-consciousness, women supporting women, female family members supporting female family members, with the more motherhood-oriented ones, the concept of the “village”.

    And idk seeing shez hurt like this for her family and sisters without a second thought affected me, not because I think she did the wrong thing but because there is ANOTHER immediate burden on her shoulders, she is made into a carer and giver in this situation, mirroring how in real life the expectations on women to help other women and at no point to ever be selfish in a difficult situation, to not have self preservation instincts over the situation that, this is going to sound really awful and I know is coming from a biased and irrational place, but the situation her mother put her in (even though she didn’t really, the abuser did) – and she has to pull her mother back out from.

    Idk if this makes sense, just something I’ve been mulling over… the chapter was beautiful and I’m happy for the way it turned out for them <3

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    1. You’ve got nothing to apologise for. I understand what you’re saying, and honestly, I 100% believe the scenario you described where mother’s will pick their abusive male partners over their daughters is so, so much more common (and I am sorry you were a victim of it).

      Perhaps it would help to look at LB as less instructional? Shez and Meriam’s relationship, their bond, is incredibly idealistic. And that is by design because this chapter was about exploring the powerfantasy some (not all) daughters have about being able to protect their mothers. A key component is that though, is mothers also choosing their daughters over men. It just doesn’t happen that often in real life. Same with mothers apologising to their daughters (see: Josie).

      With regards to female class consciousness in radical feminism, I believe something gets lost in the wording of “supporting women”. Not all mothers, or all women in general should have their actions supported, BUT they deserve freedom from misogyny. No woman deserves to be raped, to be forced to carry a pregnancy, to experience domestic violence, to face any descrimination based on her sex.

      It’s similar to how radical feminism is for all women gets misinterpreted to mean: all women get a say in what is and isn’t a radical feminist action, and can be one without examining any of the misogyny they themselves perpetuate.

      When in reality the sentiment is actually radical feminism aims to liberate all women and therefore benefits all women regardless of their own politics.

      So women supporting women shouldn’t be interpreted as: support women up close and personal no matter how badly they treat you and love the women who hurt you.

      But instead:

      none of us are immune to misogynistic bias. You don’t have to like every woman, or agree with everything she does, but none of us deserve to face misogyny. Being a radical feminist means being aware of your bias, and putting women first.

      There are abusive, violent women, who would be a danger to help up close for an everyday radfem who isn’t a proffesional. So supporting them might be advocating for prisons where there aren’t male guards (or male inmates), advocating for menstrual product access, ect. Which, isn’t just beneficial to them, it would benefit any woman winding up there.

      Shifting to this mindset to inform one’s actions, makes it less about self-sacrifice and more about taking actions that benefit, aka support, all women.

      Male class consciousness is insanely robust. “Bros before hoes”, ect ect. They do not have to like the men they feverishly defend. They just do it because they’re also men. I wouldn’t call what they do as self-sacrificing either. They do it because they all benefit (to the detriment of women). That is why there’s such a push for it in radical feminism. Liberating all women does require raising female class consciousness so women choose actions that benefit each other over men.

      Back on the page, idk about caregiver role for Shez. She’s definitely been one for her little sisters in a way, but I was taking deliberate efforts to show her not in that light on this page 😅.

      Meriam is patching up both her daughters and they end up doing something lots of kids do – doodling on their bandages (casts more common but you know).

      Plus, Meriam is specifically asking Shez to promise NOT to sacrifice herself again, and admitting to being guilty of it herself. She is saying that instead of dying for eachother as an act of love, she wants them to live long lives for eachother instead.

      You might not have been referring to this page specifically, but it is very much addressing that shift.

      Also, as an aside for future characters, not all mothers will be painted in a good (Meriam) or sympathetic (Josie) light. Maria (Alexis’ mum) has already held the threat of corrective rape over her daughter’s head to bend her to her will, and also beleives all women should be housewives who defer to a male figure. Nothing about what she did and believes is forgivable, or worthy of support. She is a bad person, and a terrible mother, and she won’t be the last.

      Most people have already gotten an idea about Riley’s mother, but I’d also reccomend giving Blaire’s a closer look. Very little info has been given about her, but based on it AND how hyper feminine Blaire is.. food for thought.

      Thanks as always for commenting 🥰

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  9. ughh my email sent the page notif to spam this is literal lesbiphobia
    anyways this entire chapter has emotionally devastated me i hope you’re happy rusty

    1. Very pleased 🥰🥰
      Thanks for reading inspite of email shenanigans!

  10. I really like how gentle Meriam is here with Rocky. No pressuring to speak, and just gently giving her sweet daughter an alternative to express herself. I really like the family being willing to work with her.

    ….. buuuuut then I look at Rissa in the last panel and I think about sad things.

    I have to wonder if she starts to take offense with Rocky’s silence, and that silence becomes one of the first wedges of their disconnect. Not that we saw much of it but my heart imagines these two were CLOSE before… Much closer in age, and probably had an easier time relating to each other then their big sister who is a lot older, and having an entirely separate childhood from them because of her stress and responsibilities. Rocky and Rissa were on the same page though. I can really imagine them being cute together… But then Rocky just goes quiet, and never talks again. A person can’t even be mad at Rissa for getting offended, she’s a little kid, it’s very natural her heart would hurt when her sister “refuses” to talk to her. (I’m sure Meriam did her best to explain it.)

    I imagine Rissa never quite got over being offended though. No matter how much it was explained to her, and as she got older and had more opportunity to understand. She “doesn’t want to let the events from her past define her” in her character profile, and I can easily imagine she views Rocky as not making enough effort to Get Over this thing that happened to them when they were little kids. Rissa takes personal offense at her family not trusting her boyfriend, and I wouldn’t be surprise if she takes personal offense at her sister not talking to her…… I don’t like to imagine a contrast between Meriam and Shez being more understanding of Rocky being mute, compared to Rissa maybe… not being so nice about it.

    THANK YOU, MY BRAIN. THANKS FOR THAT. I REALLY WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO BE HAPPY AS I LOOK AT THIS PAGE, RATHER THEN HAVE SOME DOOM & GLOOM THOUGHTS. LOOK! Look at that “I love Shansey” and BE HAPPY, MY BRAIN. Rocky definitely wrote that, she still has a voice, the Man didn’t steal her ability to express herself she’s just going to be expressing herself differently then is typical from now on.

    You did a great job drawing the three sisters together. The image radiates so much happiness! And I also love the the “die for” and “live for”, really beautiful sentiment.

  11. I just lost someone to DV from her husband, I was crying and have not been able to sleep, I remembered that the latest pages were on this topic, and it all just hits more than it already did.

    I’ve lost so many, and seen so many lose themselves at the altar of living unquestioningly with males, I am getting both more devastated and numb at once.

    I appreciate you diving deeper into this topic, in putting the autonomy into the hands FULLY of the women and girls in this dynamic, not just a switching of hands with a savior male to save them from the bad apple male story archetype, I see too much of it, after all this, I don’t think I can handle seeing that trope anymore.

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    1. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. There is no way to easily process something like that and I hope you have all the time and patience from others it takes to move through the grieving process 🩷

      Chris was actually designed as a twist on that “you just haven’t met the a good/the right man” archetype. Shez’s biological father was the first to abandon them, and Chris posed himself as their saviour – but his actions were entirely self-serving.

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