what the heck tumblr
Honestly, I’m really only interested in soulmate AUs with alternative plots.
I don’t really care about person A and person B who have each other’s names on their wrists and find each other and live happily ever after. I care about a culture where people don’t bother forming romantic relationships with anyone other than their soulmate, where they finally find their soulmate and realize they don’t know how to handle the ups and downs of a relationship.
I care about people who fall in love with someone who isn’t their soulmate and aren’t willing to leave.
I care about queer people who are outed by the names on their arms, about trans people who spend their whole lives worrying that their birth name will be on their soulmate’s arm, then sobbing in relief when it’s not.
I care about people in poly relationships and how that looks.
I care about asexual aromantic people who have a name anyway and wonder if they’re broken or if it’s the platonic soulmate they’ve always wanted.
I care about people who Google their soulmate and are disappointed by what they find. I care about the private detective agencies that rake in cash to help people find their soulmates. I care about the ways non-soulmate couples are discriminated against, from disapproving grandmas to insurance companies that won’t insure someone’s spouse unless they’re their soulmate. I care about teenagers who are devastated that their celebrity crush isn’t their soulmate and what happens when the media discovers a young, unknown person whose soulmate is hugely famous.
I care about the people who never meet their soulmates, whose soulmates died young, whose soulmates have another name on their arms.
I care about the ways that this is a broken system, how it fucks people up, how it doesn’t guarantee a happy ending and how people find their happy endings anyway.
These are forms of male aggression that only women see. But even when men are afforded a front seat to harassment, they don’t always have the correct vantage point for recognizing the subtlety of its operation. Four years before the murders, I was sitting in a bar in Washington, D.C. with a male friend. Another young woman was alone at the bar when an older man scooted next to her. He was aggressive, wasted, and sitting too close, but she smiled curtly at his ramblings and laughed softly at his jokes as she patiently downed her drink. ‘Why is she humoring him?’ my friend asked me. ‘You would never do that.’ I was too embarrassed to say: ‘Because he looks scary’ and ‘I do it all the time.’
Women who have experienced this can recognize that placating these men is a rational choice, a form of self-defense to protect against setting off an aggressor. But to male bystanders, it often looks like a warm welcome, and that helps to shift blame in the public eye from the harasser and onto his target, who’s failed to respond with the type of masculine bravado that men more easily recognize.