Ahhh! This is so cool!

An author was writing historical fiction, and decided (in hopes of escaping anachronistic language) to only use the vocabulary that Jane Austen used. They made a custom dictionary of all the words Jane Austen used in all of her books, and used that to spell check, so it flagged modern words and phrases that she would have totally overlooked otherwise.

I’m thinking it would be incredibly easy to do the same thing for fanfiction, especially book-based - compile a dictionary of, say, all the words GRRM used in ASOIAF, and use that as a spell check dictionary so it would flag any words GRRM did not use…

Or a particular TV show character’s dialogue, though that would involve much more manual effort…

edit: apparently, some historical fiction authors use old dictionaries (circa: 1700-1800s) as their custom dictionaries, even when writing about much earlier time periods. This helps them escape writing with modern-sounding anachronisms that throw modern readers out of the story, but also allows them to use language that a modern reader can understand when writing about time periods where characters should be speaking, say, Old English.

friendly reminder that such a thing has been developed for the les mis fandom 

These are some great resources for authors of historical fiction (and/or fan fiction)!

Low-Sodium Mix-Ins


I saw this anon asking about low-sodium recipes, and I thought I’d share something great I’ve come to learn. We recently adopted a low-sodium diet in our household, and since I’m the one who makes most of the meals for the house, I’ve had to revamp a lot of my go-to meals. Here’s some ways I’ve pulled through!

  • Low sodium spaghetti sauce (or any red sauce, really)

A large can of crushed tomatoes goes a long way. I was making goulash one night when I realized the can of tomatoes I was opening had only 15mg of sodium per serving. On a whim I checked it against a jar of Prego - almost 600mg per serving! WHOA! I gave all my jars of pre-seasoned sauce to a local food drive and haven’t turned back. Now, you do need to add some things to the crushed tomatoes to get rid of the sharp tang - especially when you’re feeding picky children. I usually add a pinch of brown sugar, basil, oregano and thyme. Season to taste with your favorite sodium-free seasonings and add to spaghetti / lasagna / whatever dish you desire.

  • Low sodium alfredo sauce

I feel sheepish to call this alfredo sauce, because I don’t really even care for alfredo sauce, but it’s white and creamy and goes good with chicken and broccoli, so why not. If you want to make a lot of it, you only need three ingredients: a pack (8oz) of cream cheese, a stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, and two cups of milk. You want to melt your butter in a small pot on medium-low heat. Then add your cream cheese in small chunks. Swish the pot around to coat the cream cheese in melted butter. Use a wire wisk to get as many clumps out as you can, and proceed to add the milk a little at a time while you wisk it smooth. (If you don’t have a wisk, you can use a fork, but it will take longer. Patience!) I always add some garlic “juice” (from a jar of minced garlic) for extra flavor, along with some pepper and lemon juice if I have it. A full batch of this sauce will do to cover a pound of pasta plus all the fixings (veggies, chicken, whatever). I used to use Classico, which had 350mg of sodium per serving. The cream cheese still makes this alternative a little salty, but rounding out at about 100 mg of sodium per serving isn’t bad in my book.

  • Low sodium broth/stock

This is kind of a special case scenario, but I love having extra broth on hand for soup considering sodium-free bouillon (let alone sodium-free broth/stock) is particularly expensive AND hard to find. Basically, every time I cook chicken or vegetables on the stovetop, I keep the juices. It might seem silly or unnecessary, but hey, I’ve seen people hoard bacon grease in a giant coffee can. This is in the same strain. If you cook chicken in a pan on the stove, simmer it up with a little water, and separate the “chicken water” out into a coffee mug or something instead of letting it run down the sink. The same goes for if you’re boiling veggies - use just enough water to simmer or steam, and then keep the broth when you strain everything. Once it’s cooled in the fridge or something, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and store. It’s a lifesaver when you’re craving, say, ramen, but of course can’t stand the hundreds of milligrams of sodium one tiny seasoning packet would violate your bloodstream with.

  • Low sodium taco seasoning

Even the “25% less sodium” taco seasonings have more than 300mg of sodium per serving. But one time I buckled down and told the kids I would make them nachos - only to lose track of where I put the taco seasoning packet five minutes after I took it out of the pantry. That’s so like me. So instead of making a big fuss and changing dinner plans, I Googled how to make homemade taco seasoning. Basically, you need cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, oregano, paprika, and pepper. (Each of those ingredients has a negligible amount of sodium for the 1/4 to 1/2 tsp you’d be using.) If you’re missing any (or a lot) of those ingredients, seriously, don’t fret, as long as you have cumin. Cumin is what makes taco meat taste like taco meat. Everything else is “to taste.”

  • Bonus: Garlic is your friend

Guess what has no sodium in its natural habitat? Garlic. Guess what I’ve mentioned in every sauce recipe in this post? Garlic. I buy giant jars of pre-minced garlic and use the stuff in literally everything I cook. If you’re not undead, garlic is a wonderful go-to, I promise. And it’s cheap.

So that’s that! Remember to pair with your favorite low-sodium pasta and enjoy!


Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cream Pie | Girl Versus Dough
Point-of-View: Past/Present Dual Narrative


sctennessee asked: Any advice on dual narratives, specifically the past and present voice of the same character?

I’m a huge fan of dual narrative, when it’s done correctly. One important thing to consider is whether a past/present dual narrative is really the best way to tell your story. Think about the present version of your narrator: who are they relaying the story to and why? Even if you choose not to establish these reasons to the reader, knowing them yourself will help you keep everything in the proper context. Something else to consider is whether or not there is enough contrast between the past and present version of your narrator to necessitate a dual narrative. The present version of the narrator should be coming at things with a “hindsight is 20/20” perspective. This is your character after they’ve completed their character arc. One last tip would be to make certain you keep your tenses straight with each narrative so as not to confuse the reader.

Here are some general articles with tips about dual narrative:

The Murky Waters of Mixed Tenses via WriteWorld

Author Susan Elliot Wright on Writing a Dual Narrative

The Dual Narrative—Does it Work?

Notes about Past/Present Dual Narrative in Dickens’ Great Expectations

Anatomical Realism vs Stylization





People are probably going to take this the wrong way and I won’t be surprised if this might even manage to get me some of that famous anon hate, but here’s my little treatise/argument/opinion piece on a popular issue in art.

Read More

*leans in the door*

If I may? I’d like to add my two cents.

This is a really great break-down of anatomy/stylization and realism, etc. I think this is something that is very often extremely misunderstood, and for those of you who are visual learners, I would like to do a comparison.

aaand isn’t that horrifying. I’m pretty sure we’re all very familiar with this image, and any layperson can tell you what’s wrong with it.


But look at this:

Is this at all anatomically correct?

Hecks no.

Do I feel the need to lie down and cry looking at how enormous his chest is?


Kiyara brought up My Little Pony as an example, and I personally think that The Incredibles is a fantastic example of stylized anatomy working to enhance the characterization and action of the story/message/artwork.

Let’s look at our friend Rob again, shall we?

*disclaimer: drawing comics and doing animation have very different focuses, and I compare them only in this one aspect, thank*

There are a lot of days that I wonder if Rob my man has ever actually seen a real live human being, or if he just goes off of vague descriptions to the best of his abilities and shoves his drawings out of the cave in which he lives.

Why to I wonder that?

Because thanks to this image, I no longer have to wonder about what I’m going to have nightmares about tonight.


Now if you look at the bare-bones facts of it, here’s two very curvy women with extremely slender limbs and power thighs.

But one of them is eons more successful in its stylization, and it isn’t Lady I-Removed-All-My-Internal-Organs-Because-Of-Reasons up there.

Is Liefeld’s art technically more ‘realism’? Sure.

But which of these feel closer to reality?

One of the reasons why this is that I feel Kiyara didn’t touch on, is that the characters in the Incredibles, though grossly unrealistic in design and proportion, follow the ‘proportional’ rules that they have set up.

A lot of times stylization can feel as though the artist decided to draw a bunch of separate body parts and then splice them all together without any regard for how they relate to one another — something of which I myself am most definitely guilty and is an easy mistake to make.

It’s easier to analyze this on Mr. Incredible because of how nice and face-front he is standing, and here’s the picture again for all of you who don’t want to scroll up.

He’s disproportionate from a real person to an absurd degree, but he is proportionate to himself.

Note that his hands fall half-way up his upper thighs, and that his nose is along the same plane as his ears.

His shoulders are two head-widths in breadth, and you can see how his very muscled thighs are bigger than his hips (comparatively less muscled, on your average human being).

His face is about in the middle of his head— which is five eye-widths across at that point.

From the angle, we can’t see his hands fully, but they look to me to be about the same size as his face.

All of these are basic anatomical relations that artists commonly use to check themselves when it comes to accuracy, and that is part of what makes this work, even if it isn’t humanly possible.

If someone does a realism drawing that has a lot of detail, it can still be — or at least appear — less anatomically correct than a very stylized caricature, if there is no cohesiveness to how the features of the subject are in relation to one another.

Yep, all good, I was considering adding images to my original post but I got bogged down trying to find a good example of Miller’s that couldn’t use the “but it’s his style!” schtick. I probably would have also used some of the MLP art reference tutorials I used to have and maybe a couple examples from different anime.

The other thing I didn’t go into but was on my mind was explaining the difference between being a successful sequential artist(which Miller is actually really good at) vs an illustrator, but this was the result of two separate writing sessions as it was and the subject can get really tiring for me because it’s an argument I’ve been sucked into too many times.

I remember a time recently where someone just said “Obviously you’ve never heard of stylization” and just gave up there, closed my computer and went to bed.

But yeah, proportion is hugely important, and of course consistency, which is kind of the nail I hammer the most in regards to becoming a competent artist, for instance, I have a few early pieces of art that are still pretty solid, even while everything else of that era is terrible, nowadays, my art is a pretty consistent so I don’t really have anything exceptional, I don’t have anything that’s terrible either.

In a few years, I might even be proud of my art!

Interesting read (the OP as well as the comments)


Let me know if you have questions!!!

How does one get better at fighting with a sword? I have a female character who was formally trained in swordfighting (being a noble heir) though she has a lot of room for improvement. I want a timeskip in which she trains and afterwards (is 6 months reasonable?) she is challenged by a pirate captain who has years of experience and talent in combat. She is going to lose and he isn't aiming to kill her. How would the fight play out realistically?



Realistically? She won’t kill him, her guards will. (She won’t even get close to him and his challenge is meaningless.)

This is the most important thing to remember: a female noble heir is the social and economic future of their household, if your pirate captain takes her then he gets to claim her which is the equivalent of stealing Alabama, Alaska, or California. Now do you think for a second her guards or her family will allow that to happen? (The answer is no.)

If you’re using pirates, then you’re probably pulling from the Golden Age of Piracy for inspiration, so between 1650 and 1726. It’s important to remember than aristocrats in any period before the 19th century were not decorative. Today, we (Americans especially) have a habit of confusing the echoes for the gunfire. We view the nobility and royalty like CEOs and other really rich people instead of what they really were: warlords, an important part of their nation’s command and control structure. Nobles were taught to fight because they needed to be capable of defending themselves from the peasantry, from other nobles, and from attempts at political assassination. Your heir is probably living in a period where she is expected to know how to fight because someone else is going to try to kill or kidnap her. While we’re talking about a period in history where the importance of the nobility was ending, it wasn’t there yet. Fencing as recreation hadn’t quite taken hold yet and your heir’s education is going to be for realities of the world she’ll be facing. This is also a period in history when training with live blades was not uncommon.

Nobles engaged professional swordmasters as members of their households to teach them and their children. Your girl is likely to have had a fencing blade in her hand by the time she was six years old, the standard training age for an aristocrat. It’s likely she was trained on a variety of weapons, but depending on your time period her main sword is likely to be either a rapier, an epee or another variant of smallsword, all of which will turn your pirate captain into Swiss cheese before he can say “what’s that?”. She’ll possibly also know how to use a longsword (still saw battlefield use) or a heavy saber (as opposed to the later lighter version of the fencing blade) as a cavalry blade, she’ll have been trained to use it from horseback in case she was ever called to military service by her monarch. If her family employs a professional duelist to fight for her father or mother in case of another noble challenging the family, she might have also trained with them. If her family doesn’t have the money or the family patriarch prefers to handle to duels themselves, it’s likely she was grilled by them regularly. As the heir, she’ll be under direct scrutiny from whichever figure is managing her education and training to ensure she can do her job when she eventually inherits management of the household/estate.

The problem here is that you’re thinking about this in terms of her not having any practical combat experience and conflating the 18th and 19th century nobility with the 16th and 17th century is a terrible, if common, mistake. Unless your pirate captain is a former member of the gentlemen class or noble class then the weapon he’ll be using is likely to be the cutlass, which while a fantastic weapon for boarding actions, is horribly outmatched by both the epee and the rapier when it comes to dueling. They’re both longer (reach and speed advantage) and faster (substantial speed advantage) and in the hands of someone who knows how to kill with them. Weapons are a great equalizer, your heir doesn’t need to be exceptional to kill him, she’ll be armed with the better weapon for the situation and has the knowledge to know how to use it in practical combat. Even if she’s armed with a longsword, she’ll win.

Here’s your first real issue: you’re conflating all types of combat experience together while ignoring the separate skill sets and types of experience. A pirate captain is going to be experienced in ship to ship combat and boarding actions, his exceptional talent is the handling of his crew and his ability to command. This is what he needs to be good at in order to maintain his position. Dueling is not going to be his focus, he may excel at dueling other pirates both with pistols and with swords but the question is who is he dueling? The caliber of your opponent does a lot to enhance skill, so does having the luxury to devote the necessary time to developing that skill. A boarding action is a mass melee, it’s not a duel. Even if he’s used to fighting multiple enemies, it’s going to be in fighting back to back with the support of his crew. His most common opponents are going to be other pirates, most likely drunk pirates, while on shore leave.  This doesn’t leave him a lot of time to come up with the skill necessary to hand a noble their ass in a one on one. A duel with your heir is going to end up looking a lot like Edmond Dantes’ first duel with Ferdinand in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). Your pirate is Dantes, she’s Ferdinand and she’s got less reason to play nice. (It’s worth noting Ferdinand isn’t even considered an exceptional duelist and, at this point in the movie, he’s just got the advantage of his training.)

Now, he could be a former naval officer or son of a merchant with a business in overseas trade. However, this would mean he comes from either a wealthy merchant family or the middle/upper class. At this point in history officers were still expected to buy their commissions which meant ships were largely commanded by the rich/gentlemen and the sailors/grunts were pulled from the poor/uneducated.

The second issue: Heirs are incredibly valuable, incredibly valuable. Female ones especially because they are the means of carrying on your bloodline. A lot of effort and work by the head of the household goes into the heir because they are the economic and socio-political future of the family. Heirs are not allowed to engage in the same sort of risky business that a second or third child can get away with. A fairly decent modern comparison is Prince William versus Prince Harry, both are in the military but only one gets to fight on the front lines. Now, you can disinherit the heir to ensure that their progeny/new husband cannot claim their titles and lands but you lose all the effort that went into them in favor of (what is likely to be viewed as) a substandard second aka the spare. So, again, it would be like stealing Alabama and she doesn’t have the free time to run off for a weekend cruise with a strange man unless she’s intending to throw away everything anyway (and no one is going to let her).

Second to the Family Head, the Heir is the most well-defended member of the family. They’re not getting out of the house without an escort, these men (and women) will be among the most loyal and skilled men (and women) the house has at their disposal. She’s not going to go anywhere without them and has probably known them (somewhere between four to six) all her life. They may know her better than her parents do, they’re always there, and they will defend her with their lives. Not being a noble, your captain has no ability to challenge her directly even if she challenges him. He is going to have to go through them to fight her and they aren’t going to bother with a duel. They’re not going to fight him one on one, they’ll fight him together. He’s outnumbered and fighting better trained opponents (it’s going to be either three on one with one guarding the girl or four on one with two guarding the girl), so he’s dead.

It’s important to remember that a bodyguard’s job is not to do what their protectee wants, it’s to do what is best for them and ensures their safety. It’s their job to keep them alive, not to keep them happy. She’s not the one paying their salary, her parents are, and even if she was it wouldn’t make a difference. While her guards are fighting him, the other one (or two) will hustle her somewhere else to keep her safe.

Third Problem: In attempting to take her anywhere, he has shown he means her harm. Whether it’s to kill her, ransom her, or claim her as his wife is irrelevant, whether he actually intends any of those things is irrelevant. From her perspective, that of her family, and her guards, he intends her harm and if she’s forced to fight him then it will be to the death. Remember, these are threats she faces from the other members of her country’s nobility. She’s primed to respond to any threats to her person with deadly force and so are her guards, all of whom are likely to face much more talented combatants from their own class than the pirate captain. She has a vested interest in being better at combat than him and she will be because nobles are not sheltered fragile flowers who have the luxury of using money instead of force to protect themselves. The French Revolution was successful because of the number of peasants and the willingness to bury the aristocrats in bodies (which was what it took). It wasn’t because they were better warriors.

Let’s Recap:

Do Not Steal California: Heirs are valuable and important people, stealing them is a lot like stealing the ownership of a state. Lots of people are bound to try it and there are reasons their families take steps to ensure they won’t succeed.

A Rapier or Epee versus a Cutlass: both weapons have a reach advantage over a cutlass and are much, much faster. The pirate captain’s brain will not be used to fighting at it’s speeds and in a single unarmored bout, it will be over in one or two hits. In fact, historically the epee is so fast that it resulted in multiple double suicides during duels which is part of the reason we switched to fencing with blunted blades.

Nobles Are Not Decorative: Unless we’re discussing nobles in the 19th (excluding Russia), 20th, and 21st centuries then an aristocrat’s position was fraught with danger. Even in the 18th century when they were heading toward being obsolete, nobles were very dangerous individuals who faced a great deal of danger in their everyday lives both from the peasantry and members of their own class.

Depending on Context All Combat Experience Is Not Created Equal: while there were pirates who were very skilled duelists this was usually a skill they cultivated during the time before they became pirates (as members of the gentry). Pirate Captains needed to be skilled in naval combat, interpersonal skills, leadership, and other skills relating to raiding, theft, and seafaring leaving little time to focus on skills unnecessary to their general lifestyle.

Where the Heir Goes, The Guards Follow or Lead: A noble’s guards are never far away, they travel in packs and it’s their job to defend their master from harm. Getting through them to the protectee isn’t easy and the protectee is unlikely to thank you if you do.

Swords are made for killing: intentions are great, but swords are made for killing. The better the opponent, the less likely the option of not killing. With faster weapons, it becomes very easy to kill accidentally or a wound may become infected leading to death.

Think Leia, Not Gossip Girl: I didn’t actually throw this one out there in the above, but personality wise, you’re better off looking at Princess Leia (especially Leia from A New Hope) as opposed to modern day rich girls like Blaire Waldorf and Serena Vanderwoodsen. Think about Leia’s response to Han and Luke’s rescue attempt on the Death Star, particularly the part where she takes charge and shoots the Stormtroopers. Feisty yes, but also intelligent and capable of taking care of herself. They provide her with the opportunity to escape, but she’s more than able to act for herself when the moment comes and patient enough withstand the indignities and torture inflicted on her by Vader and Tarkin to wait it for it. She’s also all business once she gets out and is much better at providing direction than the boys are at finding it.

In short, he’s dead.

A solution: as fun as the concept of the Princess and the Pirate is most of your problems could be solved by removing the heir part from the equation. If writing a lazy layabout who isn’t interested in real work is your angle with this character then it’s best to go with a member of the family who has the unfortunate luxury of being a strain on finances simply by virtue of their birth. The third child or a bastard the Father/Mother/Family Head refuses to get rid of who gets all the privileges, none of the responsibility, and who the family doesn’t care enough about to take an active interest in their protection or their training will have a much better shot of doing what you want without all the messy complications. They also have a much, much better shot of being in a place where they and the pirate will actually cross paths. Younger children have a much higher likelihood of leaving the country to seek their fortunes or being in less savory places. (Do not have the pirate break into their house, homefield advantage is huge and estates/castles are designed to be deathtraps for invaders. Don’t do it, you can’t have a fight there without drawing twenty or more guards.)

A solution to the sword problem: they’re drunk. Your character is at a low point in their life, they’re in a bar feeling their failure, and they’re drunk when they challenge the pirate. This gives the pirate the luxury to feel sorry for them, you can subtly handicap their actual skill level, and give them the opportunity to grow as a person and a combatant without jeopardizing all the advantages a noble has access to.

Some Reading Suggestions/Historical Figures:

Julie La Maupin: The life of Julie La Maupin could quite literally fill any swashbuckling novel to rival the tales of Alexandre Dumas, her stories however have the advantage of being real. This brash, deadly, bisexual cross-dressing swashbuckler bucked the times and society to carve her own way in 1600s France.

Gurps: Swashbucklers, Roleplaying In The World of Pirates and Musketeers: The Gurps books tend be great reference material and this one is a great overview of everything you need to write about pirates and swashbucklers. It covers the history surrounding pirates and musketeers, the notable historical figures, the socio-political climates of the times, and pretty much everything else you’re going to need to build your setting.

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. While not a book about pirates, this novel (and the others by Dumas) will be helpful for getting into the frame of mind to write about swashbucklers and nobles. It gets closer to a period when the nobility was still considered relevant and treats them that way.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy (1903), the foundation for superhero literature and secret identities, this is the novel that inspired Zorro and subsequently Batman. It follows the adventures of wealthy Sir Percy Blakeney in his adventures rescuing individuals sentenced to death by the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. In England, Percy presents himself as a dim fop to throw off suspicion that he (along with a band of merry friends) is the Scarlet Pimpernel, daring escape artist, master swordsman, and outside the box thinker. If nothing else, it’s a fun adventure novel read.

The Errol Flynn Collection: The Seahawk and Captain Blood especially, but I suggest a general review of the Golden Age Swashbuckling films.

The Mask of Zorro, The Count of Monte Cristo, anything with fight scenes choreographed by Bob Anderson for the spectacular sword work which may give you ideas.

Wikitenaur: pretty much the best resource for historical fighting manuals if you want to go outside modern fencing to get ideas for your fight scenes. You will have to slog through some older language, some of the manuals come with plates and translations. Others don’t.

Get a manual on fencing. Even if you don’t plan to take up fencing yourself, a manual for beginners will be helpful for getting the basic ideas and terminology down.

While I wouldn’t recommend Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag for it’s historical accuracy (cringeworthy, especially the way it messes with and reduces the awesomeness of some very incredible historical figures) or it’s combat accuracy (also cringeworthy), it’s ship combat is a lot of fun and may help you get into the right mood for when it comes to the fun side of pirates. This depends if you want to shell out for the price tag. The same is true of Pirates of the Caribbean. Decide what pirate theme you’re going with, compare Jack Sparrow with Peter Blood for reference and do some research into historical figures to help you with your captain. If you’re doing a gender equal setting, feel free to research and export the considerations for male nobility onto your female noble.

Have fun!


attn: @petermorwood


Shingeki no Kyojin: Shipping Spree!
Everyday you may write or draw or whatever your thing is (graphics, music, etc) a pairing. EVEN IF IT IS YOUR NOTP. This is a challenge and I want to see who’s up for it! (You don’t have to join the challenge, you could also do it for fun.)
Put your entries under the tag #snkshippingspree to be put on the blog dedicated to these 15 days of random pairings.
The dates run from June 20th to July 4th.

Day 1: Ereri
Day 2: Eruri
Day 3: Eremika
Day 4: Eremin
Day 5: Erejean
Day 6: Jeanmarco
Day 7: Springles
Day 8: Mobihan
Day 9: Mikannie
Day 10: Yumikuri
Day 11: Petruro
Day 12: Levihan
Day 13: Eruren
Day 14: Jeankasa
Day 15: Any pairing!

Happy shipping! (Hosted by Fuuyuko)


Shingeki no Kyojin: Shipping Spree!

Everyday you may write or draw or whatever your thing is (graphics, music, etc) a pairing. EVEN IF IT IS YOUR NOTP. This is a challenge and I want to see who’s up for it! (You don’t have to join the challenge, you could also do it for fun.)

Put your entries under the tag #snkshippingspree to be put on the blog dedicated to these 15 days of random pairings.

The dates run from June 20th to July 4th.

Day 1: Ereri

Day 2: Eruri

Day 3: Eremika

Day 4: Eremin

Day 5: Erejean

Day 6: Jeanmarco

Day 7: Springles

Day 8: Mobihan

Day 9: Mikannie

Day 10: Yumikuri

Day 11: Petruro

Day 12: Levihan

Day 13: Eruren

Day 14: Jeankasa

Day 15: Any pairing!

Happy shipping! (Hosted by Fuuyuko)
Breaking down the gender pay gap: what’s actually going on here?


Sometimes I get really frustrated with the way the conventional media and tumblr handle statistics, and I go after the primary sources.  Today, the statistic under fire is “Women make 77 cents to the man’s dollar.”*

Friends, I have done some reading.

There are two parts of the gender pay gap.  First: the obvious raw wage gap, which is the difference between the median yearly salary of female full-time workers and the yearly salary of male full-time workers.  Women make less, on average, than men.**  Second: the scary, inexplicable gap that cannot be closed no matter how carefully compounding factors are scrubbed out of the data.  Women also make less, on average, than men despite working the same jobs, with the same hours, same experience, same age, same education, and same “life choices.”

The raw wage gap is the much-cited 77 cents on the dollar.***  There is very clear evidence that this gap shrinks when you consider compounding factors.  Controlling for job type and hours worked explains about two-thirds of the gender wage gap, maybe more.  Crunching on the numbers to eliminate differences between male and female workers turns up gaps as small as 5% (95 cents on the dollar).  5% sounds pretty small, right?  Almost within the margin of error where it could be chalked up to deficiencies in the data, or chance.****

I have read a lot of articles debunking the gender wage gap by saying that since this inexplicable leftover gap is smaller than the raw wage gap, this means that women are receiving equal pay and feminists are stupid.  We can explain 18% of the wage gap (which is almost all of it, right?) and they say this means women get paid less because they want to get paid less.  (Except for that pesky 5%.)  Women are inherently different than men so they choose women’s jobs which are (coincidentally) lower-paying.  Women get paid less and it’s women’s choice!  Women get paid less and it’s their own fault!

This is bullshit.

These gaps are consistent across almost every career.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics looked at weekly salaries for 534 jobs and found 7 where women were out-earning the men.  That’s less than 2%.  (Compare to the other 98%, where the men out-earn the women.)  The inexplicable gap is terrifying, because it’s indicative of pure, vicious sexism.  We are worth 5% less in the workplace simply because we are women; nobody can find another reason.  The explicable, 18% gap is also awful, because the people who deny the gender wage gap know about it, and they think we deserve it.

Equal pay for equal work doesn’t just mean that a male nurse and a female nurse should take home the same amount of money each week.  Equal pay for equal works means that a woman who is a teacher, working in the most common occupation for women, who works hard every damn day for $934 a week, should make the same amount of money as the male manager, who works in the most common occupation for men, and makes $1,399 a week.  Equal pay for equal work means striving for gender equality in unpaid childcare and unpaid domestic labor.  Equal pay for equal work means attacking the entire wage gap, all 23% of it, not just the parts that we can’t explain away as something women deserve.

Often, I hunt down a popular liberal statistic and I find a lot of holes in it; often I emerge from the primary sources with a conclusion more moderate than I had before I went data-diving.  This is not one of those times.  The wage gap is an incredibly complicated statistic to accurately calculate, but it exists every way we slice it.  Women make 77 cents to the man’s dollar.  This is unacceptable.  The end.

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I was talking to my bud Lauren about ways for someone who is new to animation to get some practice. When I was at animation school I would make a lot of little dance cycles like this and I think it was really helpful. I like to start with drawing the UP and DOWN key poses (the first gif). Then you can have a lot of fun placing the drawings in between (the second gif). They’re quick and easy and they’re fun!

ran across this post while listening to this