The Princess

To My Beloved Royalty...



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Rachel P
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Guest post by "Rachel P"
And so we await the answer. Coins in the air about how she'll answer.

Submitted March 28, 2014 at 2:09AM



RachelN
 

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Well, he phrased it in such a way that it would be difficult to deny. Who doesn't want a child they like and respect, after all?


His choice of words caught my attention. Notice he said "like", not "love." I imagine most parents love their children to some degree, but you know you've done your job as a parent if you raise a child you like. Someone who's pleasant to be around. The greatest compliment my mother ever paid me, I think, is when she told me, "I not only love you, I like you...."

Submitted March 28, 2014 at 11:03AM



Ranthog
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I would agree.

It also give some insight into what he puts importance on. He could have chosen other things like success (often money, fame, etc) and it would still be difficult to deny.

Submitted March 28, 2014 at 7:45PM



kev
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Conversely, "like" and "respect" on their own are hollow ways to frame a parent's interaction with their child. If your dream as a parent is all about "respectability," where is the love? I think the jury is still out on whether this guy is an ahole. 

Submitted March 29, 2014 at 8:57AM



Amy!
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"I think the jury is still out on whether this guy is an ahole."

Well, when Sarah first transitioned socially at school, and asked "No more Seth, no more *boy*" his repose was "All right." (with a smile).

That has to be worth at least a few points.

Submitted March 29, 2014 at 2:32PM



Amy!
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And yeah, I am giving him more credit than her mom, I know.
It is consistent in my head, at least.

One could make the argument that her mother is trying, but she certainly isn't trying very hard in my eyes. I have little tolerance for her, and even less when you contrast her with Clark.

Submitted March 29, 2014 at 2:38PM



Amy!
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Guest post by "Amy!"
Triple post!

Sarah, in strip #51: "So Mr. Perez just smiled and said, 'It's alright in my class to be who you are. Just keep being the bright, kind student I'm so proud of.' Do you know how awesome it is to be yourself and accepted as normal?"

Submitted March 29, 2014 at 2:47PM



Ranthog
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Guest post by "Ranthog"
Without love that statement would be empty, but unconditional love is our default assumption of what should exist in a parent to child relationship. I suppose you could work it into that type of statement, but I certainly assumed it from the context.

Also, any statement to an acquaintance about how you love your child is pretty empty. Given society's expectations someone who loves their child will say that and someone who doesn't will lie.

Submitted March 30, 2014 at 11:00AM



RachelN
 

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You're absolutely right, Ranthog, and that's why I pointed out the distinction between "love" and "like". Parents can "love" their child in the abstract--even if that child is a murderer--because the child is their blood, part of them. But they might not like to be around their child. So saying one likes one's child does indeed mean something.

Submitted March 30, 2014 at 11:34AM



Auryn Grigori
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Guest post by "Auryn Grigori"
I will say, yeah, her mother is not doing the best job, but to be fair, even the horrible mistakes that she makes with Sarah are not done from a place of hatred, but a place of love. She is worried that Sarah being who she is is a dangerous thing, and to be fair, so far she hasn't been proven wrong. Sarah wears a dress at school, and the principal condones bullying behaviour towards Sarah, and is only stopped by Wendy threatening the Principal about her loan. Sarah joins a girl scout like club and she gets a rock chucked at her head. Not excuses for Wendy's behaviour at all, but:

http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/13/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/32/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/33/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/34/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/35/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/38/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/90/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/104/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/105/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/106/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/107/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/109/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/110/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/111/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/157/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/161/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/162/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/165/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/166/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/175/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/176/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/179/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/209/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/210/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/228/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/229/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/267/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/268/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/275/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/276/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/328/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/329/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/347/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/352/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/353/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/354/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/356/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/359/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/405/
http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/406/

In fact, while Clark is the "likeable" character, I find myself liking him less and less as the strip goes on. It's not that he is a bad person, but he is a thoughtless one, to say the least. His response to Wendy telling him about Sarah's injuries at the therapy session is that Wendy should get over herself because she is letting Sarah down. His worry is more that Sarah is unhappy, which is great except that WENDY has to worry about keeping her happy AND safe from harm. WENDY is the one that made it safe, at least at school, for Sarah to wear a dress, even if she doesn't know that Sarah is wearing a dress at school. WENDY is the one picking Sarah up from the hospital when she got a rock chucked at her head. Yes, you can argue that her progress is going slowly and that she is too hard on Sarah, but on the other hand, Clark, being the parent who doesn't have custody, can be the "understanding, fun" parent. Looking through the comic, I don't see one time where he has to patch Sarah up after a bully goes after her. I don't see him having sleepless nights at the thought that Sarah could possible get killed for being herself. I mean, he may, but in this comic, I have only seen Wendy doing these things. And I see people getting upset because Wendy hasn't magically made peace with Sarah being transgendered and magically started waving the rainbow flag for Sarah. She feels (accurately, if not rightly so) that Sarah's being herself is causing her harm and thus is trying to figure out how she can balance her child's happiness with her safety. Notice whenever Sarah is with Clark, it is always in a secluded area where everyone likes her, understands her, and everyone is kind to her. And it's great that she has that space where she is safe to be herself, and that Clark was able to make that happen for her. But Wendy is in the world where the Chucks and Pennys and Principal Victorias want to make life difficult and painful for anyone who is "different." As I said, not that it make all of Wendy's actions okay, because it doesn't. But keep in mind that it looks like it took Mars' mother a while, perhaps even years, for her to come around to Mars' being a boy. I would guess in the comic only months have passed since Wendy first appeared, and she has made great progress since then. Not 100%, and maybe not satisfactory progress to all, but so far, she is coming around faster than a lot of parents would.

Submitted March 31, 2014 at 8:38PM



Amy!
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I am sure that when my grandfather explicitly stated that he didn't want his sons or daughters to marry non-whites, that his sentiment came from a place of "love" too.

But he was still a fucking asshole for it. Intention means nothing.

Submitted April 1, 2014 at 1:04PM



Auryn Grigori
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Actually, no. Unless your grandfather came from a place where he did want his sons or daughters marrying "non-white" people because he was afraid that his sons or daughters would be killed for it, and was slowly but surely trying to get to a place where he still feared for their safety but was trying to respect who they were as people and trying to change himself so that his kids were happy...no, not the same thing one bit. The reason why she is making a big deal over it is that right now, she doesn't know this teacher from Adam. For all she knows, his opinion may be the same as Principal Victoria's, you know the one who not only condoned Sarah's bullying, but actually endorsed it as a method to "set 'Seth' straight, pardon the pun? http://the-princess.funonthe.net/comics/34/   " Of course, he doesn't, but how is Wendy supposed to know that off of one day of meeting him? And the fact that she feels that she needs to discuss Sarah with the teacher at all seems to me like a good thing. Because it means that she may actually be considering not hiding Sarah behind "Seth" at school. Of course, she doesn't know that Sarah is out at school, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. She may go a few steps forwards, or ten steps backwards. But right now, she is using Sarah's name and correct pronoun. She has done Sarah's hair in a way that is feminine, and has gotten clothes for her. She passed down a necklace that seems like it has been passed down to the females of Wendy's family for years. And  even if she doesn't know it yet, she actually paved the way for Sarah to express herself in school safely, or at least with the protection of school staff. For someone who "isn't trying very hard," she has done plenty, probably even more than Mar's mom was doing for him at Sarah's age.

Submitted April 2, 2014 at 9:24AM



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