"Mister, I'll make a man out of you" (Damon Salvatore and gender performance)

Jul 01, 2012 14:23

(I'm not here. Just posting this quickly, because vergoldung wanted to read this meta before she goes on hiatus, and then I'm running away again. I'm so laaaaaaate!)

bellonablack requested a meta about how Damon's and Stefan's background influences gender roles they perform. That's not exactly what I'm going to do. It's not a Brothers post, it's a Damon post, because I ( Read more... )

note to self: less talk, meta, damon omg damon, fandom: the vampire diaries, fictional vampires ruin my life, yes i'm always like that, i honestly don't know

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Comments 11

vergoldung July 1 2012, 12:27:39 UTC
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(Will go drink a glass of water now!)


vergoldung July 1 2012, 12:43:30 UTC
Need more time to collect myself.
I will come back with all the thoughts as soon as I'm coherent enough.

But thank youu ♥ ♥ It's everything I wanted!


novin_ha July 1 2012, 13:33:40 UTC
I'm not sure rebellion is enough to justify reading a character as feminine-coded, unless we stretch the limits of what femininity means to include everything non-hegemonic-masculine, and that renders femininity sort of a catch-all (more than it already is) and prohibits discussion as well as empties it of meaning.

Furthermore, isn't rebelliousness part of the paradox of masculinity? Be non-conformist, be James Bond, be against the system [in the way that the system allows you to be.]

I do agree, however, that fictional Bad Boys may be read as possessing certain feminine traits and that it may contribute to their attractiveness to female audiences.


kwritten July 3 2012, 17:23:22 UTC
I think, maybe, there is a difference between the cultural code of feminine and the literary space of The Feminine. I think what is being discussed here, is the literary space and the cultural code working together.

Damon disrupts the Narrative, he refuses to be the Big Romantic Hero, he subverts and plays with his Role. And he was taught to do so by two female characters. Almost as if, by showing the narrative of him being indocrinated into the feminine cultural space by women, we - the audience - can more easily read his rebellion as coded Feminine according to a literary understanding of signifying dichotomies (aka- good/bad, male/female, white/black ... the one side always proving and undermining the other simultaneously.)

Or that, just to say the same thing three times, before Damon was just raw rebellion - that we could read as (literary) Feminine by the mere act of undermining the System (a space designated to the "Feminine" but not necessarily Female characters) and then: his narrative is later SHOWN to be one in which Females ( ... )


novin_ha July 3 2012, 17:57:11 UTC
...I wrote a lengthy response and I accidentally deleted it, which I guess is the universe's way of telling me to get on with my work rather than get involved in talking about a show I'm not extremely passionate about, tbh ( ... )


kwritten July 9 2012, 04:27:12 UTC
Oh geez, I completely thought that I responded to this days ago! #iz a bum

I want to quote this all back to you, because I think it is wonderful.

I made a very similar argument to my Thesis Chair (G-Sir), basically stating that Damon is the Feminine reflection of Elena - and his response was very similar to yours. It is a frustrating fact of literary history that Male characters are allowed/encouraged to occupy or appropriate Femininity - what I love about tVD is that (I feel) the actual Female characters are operating so far beyond stereotypes and are actually occupying their own subjectivity, versus many of the Male characters who seem to be struggling - almost grasping at straws.

Also - I tend, without meaning to, to think about male/female in Lacanian terms, in which the "female" designates that space within the System that fights and operates in spite of the System, proves the System in spite of being somewhat outside it - which I think in many ways, Damon does. Or - that Damon in many ways expresses, points out, and forces ( ... )


vergoldung July 1 2012, 14:26:50 UTC
He is whoever he needs to be, a perfect chameleon. He chooses what kind of guy he wants to be in this decade, and then he becomes him.
Yes. The funny thing is that Stefan probably does that because he doesn't want to accept himself as a vampire. He doesn't want to be 160+ years old. Since he's cursed to stay forever 17, he is going to do his best to be a normal seventeen-year-old. Never mind that he can never be that young again. Stefan doesn't care about integrity, what he wants is to get as close as possible to the praised norm ( ... )


vergoldung July 1 2012, 14:29:18 UTC
He has to take his personality into account, and he's not that good at fitting into patterns, he's never been. Being a patchwork of various gender performances is the best survival technique for him, so he became a patchwork. Damon is far too practical to be rebellious. He has to be smart. Like Katherine.
Beautifully said.

This post is incredible. I can't believe you actually posted this early so I'd be able to read it before my hellatus begins!!! You are more than amazing ♥ How will I ever survive without your loveliness? *misses you already*

Because of that, I will now spam you with pretty Artaud quotes. And they are even relevant* to your post! :)
(*Relevant to my thoughts on the post at the very least?)"Qu'on excuse ma liberté absolue. Je me refuse à faire de différence entre aucune des minutes de moi-même. Je ne me reconnais pas dans l'esprit de plan. Il faut en finir avec l'Esprit comme avec la littérature. Je dis que l'Esprit et la vie communiquent à tous les degrés ( ... )


pocochina July 1 2012, 16:20:45 UTC
aaaaah! aaaaaaah!

Damon was the rebellious son, the one who went against the social expectations, the abolitionist, the idealist.

It's really interesting, right? Like, just "not playing the game to the extent of killing and being killed for it" becomes "rebellion" because that's the level of conformity that's expected. In my interpretation of the character, I definitely wouldn't go so far as "abolitionist" but I do think once he got to the front, it burst his Mystic Falls bubble and he did move toward that end of the spectrum, but I don't give him a whole lot of credit for that. I do actually believe he had come to the conclusion that the South was wrong - though I also think that the principle Stefan credits him with was more the tipping point on top of all the other self-interested reasons he didn't want to be there anyway.

He doesn't go against the antebellum idea of masculinity, because he doesn't care enough to even pay attention to the antebellum idea of masculinity.

hahahaha that is my boy.

Being a patchwork of various ( ... )


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