Xtine joins the PGP for a discussion of the women and girls of Homestuck, including Jade’s arc, grimdarkness as a girls-only event, and Jane Crocker listening to Taylor Swift.
Listen to this episode at https://perfectlygenericpodcast.com/updates/episodes/3
Kate: The Perfectly Generic Podcast contains spoilers, occasional adult language, and Vriska. You've been warned.
Xtine: Um, okay so, just like let me know when I can start talking.
Kate: I'll, y'know, introduce you!
Xtine: Oh interesting...
Xtine: Oh shrimptresting.
Kate: [laughs] You know, like a fucking host?! [laughs]
Xtine: [laughs] Interesting concept.
Kate: [laughs] Alright —
Xtine: I've never, I've never, okay [laughs with embarrassment] Oh I'm so nervous [devolves into embarrassed noises]
Kate: [laughs] Look, dude it's, I'm literally, I could just cut out any part that sucks.
Xtine: Okay, and you can't, okay just — I know you can't but just to make sure you can't hear that I'm playing Cookie Run right now right? [laughs]
Kate: [laughs] Are you playing with the sound off?
Xtine: I am, but it's like, I'm playing it with, on like, on my, on the phone that I'm also recording from, so maybe that's, like...
Xtine: I dunno, can you hear it?
Xtine: Okay, okay [speaking in a high pitched squeak] Okay let's go! [laughs]
Kate: [laughs] I'm sorry, I just, I need to fucking compose myself now [laughs] —
Xtine: I mean —
Kate: You got me out of my podcasting element.
Xtine: I mean it's only just that like my entire, like, reputation's on the line? [laughs]
Kate: [laughs] Shut the fuck up! Like, [laughs]
Xtine: I'm gonna embarrass myself in front of all 528 of my followers, and that's just gonna be great.
Kate: [laughs] Yeah. Alright, ahem.
Kate: Fucking hell I'm actually, I'm actually so out of it! [laughs] You have —
Xtine: I'm sorry!
Kate: You have completely thrown me off, I'm usually so in the zone for these things!
Xtine: [I'm sorry uwu voice] I'm SOWWY, UWUUUU!! UWUUU!!
Kate: [laughs] Alright, alright shut the fuck up I need to talk now.
Xtine: [very quietly] Okay
Kate: Wait how the fuck do I start this podcast?
Xtine: Um, that's a good question. [pause] Hey everybone, every, everybrony what the buck is up?! What the buck is up?!
Xtine: That's how you —
Kate: Alright, I'm going now, I'm going now. [pause] What the buck is up everyp— [laughs]
Xtine: You actually, wait, are we actually recording right now?
Kate: [laughs] I am, I have been recording for the last fucking two minutes.
Xtine: Wait really?
Xtine: Well that sucks. Well —
Xtine: What the buck is up everybrony?
Kate: [laughs] No!
Kate: I — I'm starting this! You didn't watch the fucking friendsims, so I get to talk for five minutes!!
Xtine: Okay fine you go, you go!!
Kate: [sighs] Okay. Gonna take a sip of water, and we're gonna get started, and I want you to *not* say anything.
Xtine: [meme noises]
Kate: [laughs] I want you to *not* say anything until I introduce you!
Xtine: Okay. [laughs]
Kate: [laughs] Fuck it! Fuck it, let's just start! Welcome to the Perfectly —
Xtine: [laughs] Okay, I've been waiting!!
Kate: Welcome to the Perfectly Generic Podcast, I [laughs] I actually cannot do a solo introduction because our —
Kate: Our wonderful guest this week will not shut the fuck up! [laughs]
Xtine: That's what I'm known for, that's why you put me on the this podcast!
Kate: Yeah absolutely, we like loud women. That's what this, that's what this episode is all about. Um —
Xtine: It's truuuue.
Kate: It's so true. Um, *but*, before we introduce Xtine, who's just gonna talk over this whole part anyway, um —
Kate: Xtine didn't do his homework, um —
Kate: So —
Xtine: I sure didn't!
Kate: You didn't do any — you had *one* assigned homework assignment, and you didn't do it.
Xtine: It was like, two homework assignments.
Kate: So, a new [laughs] episode of Hiveswap Friendsim came out, you might recognize this as an amazing game that's really shedding new light on the characters and world of Alternia, that Xtine has not even looked at once.
Kate: [laughs] Um —
Xtine: Not at all.
Kate: There were two new episodes, um, since this is the girls episode we're not gonna talk about the beefcake that everybody likes, um, I mean it was a pretty, I mean y'know, he was, he was pretty good as far as like, beefcake dudes go I guess, um, but the Tirona —
Xtine: I've seen pictures of him, he is kind of handsome I suppose.
Kate: He is kind of handsome.
Kate: But it, eh, y'know, it's...fuckin' —
Xtine: He's not really my type, but like, y'know, whatever.
Kate: Yeah exactly [laughs] My type is, is lesbians, so uh —
Kate: So Tirona's route we got another little goblin child, uh, a lot more tealblood lore, and my favorite troll of all time, Tyzias Entykk showed back up, um, and uh, we learned a little bit more about her perspective on the upcoming potential revolution and who exactly is involved in that. Uh, shit's very exciting, and I sure would have loved to talk about it with an informed guest. Uh [laughs]
Xtine: Oh yeah, yeah.
Xtine: I, I ho— One day I hope that can happen for you too!
Kate: [laughs] Yeah, that would be wonderful! Um, so, our guest this week is Xtine, @GAlNAX [transcriber's note: this is spelt using a lowercase L]
Kate: On Twitter, um —
Kate: That famous, famous Vriska liker, but here's the thing.
Xtine: OOOoh, yeah.
Kate: This part, this introductory part, is the only time we're gonna mention Vriska in this entire episode. Everything else —
Kate: We're gonna save Vriska for Episode 8, so we're gonna talk on *this* episode about the Women of Homestuck, and the Girls of Homestuck, without even mentioning —
Xtine: Minus Vriska!
Kate: Minus Vriska, who's the most important. But that's important, because, y'know, we need people to look forward to Episode 8. Um —
Xtine: We need to hype it up this way.
Kate: Yeah, so Xtine welcome to the podcast, although you've already been here —
Xtine: Thank you
Kate: Talking —
Kate: For a very long time. [laughs]
Xtine: I feel like, I feel like it's like, y'know, when you're at karaoke night and like your friends are like, in the background just like singing into the microphone with you that's like, that was like me —
Xtine: That's like what I was doing, like —
Kate: Yeah, I really —
Xtine: When you like —
Kate: I really appreciate it, it, cause y'know normally I have a really professional flow and start to the show, um, but now y'know —
Xtine: I have that effect...I do have that effect where I do throw people off, but, like, EH, whatever. It's why I'm here, I'm here to bring some, a little bit of uhh, chaos to the show I believe. I think that's what you need.
Kate: Alright, and we need a little bit of chaos. So, tell me what's your history with Homestuck? Uh, like, when did you first discover it —
Xtine: Oh yeah
Kate: And what has been your sort of, long term relation to this work?
Xtine: [audio cuts in mid-sentence] with Homestuck, I started in 2010, back when there were only four Acts. Um, and, my friend just like threw it at me basically and was like, 'hey get up to date before school starts' and I like read it all in one go basically. Um, and like —
Kate: So somebody asked you to, to engage with a work of fictional media to prepare for a conversation and then you did it?
Xtine: I, yeah, because I like, didn't really have much to, I guess, I dunno. I didn't really have much to do that summer I guess, I was uh...I mean I might have had like a comphet crush on this guy? Who knows, really, so that's, that's like a little bit, I've actually, me and Homestuck have had some interesting experiences with comphet, because I did used to have a moirail, and he was a guy, and I did have a crush on him, a quote-unquote 'crush on him, whatever', and it was very, that's a very embarrassing part of my past, but you, you all can know about that I don't [mumbling] even give a care. Um, but, yeah, so I've been into Homestuck for a while, like, um, I don't really know when it started clicking for me, I think around like, when the whole deal with Davesprite went down, that's when I started like, I was like, 'Oh, this work is like, something special', y'know? Like, yeah.
Kate: Yeah, absolutely.
Xtine: So, I love Homestuck.
Xtine: And I've been into it since then. I've had like, four different phases of Homestuck because Homestuck's like my home fandom, y'know —
Kate: Let's, let's lay, let's lay out the four phases. So what was the first phase?
Xtine: The first phase was like, y'know, of course, like in, back in 2010, uh, that was like during, I would say, the heyday of Homestuck, so when Homestuck was at its like, most obnoxious? Like when people hated the fans of Homestuck I was one of those fans. I mean I wasn't like the obnoxious kind of course because I didn't really, um, create content. Um, the second phase of Homestuck I would say was after my Hetalia phase [laughs] And um, I think I just like, I think there was like, a hiatus? This was like, arou — the, the, during, I don't remember the pauses for Homestuck because there were so many, there was like the Gigapause and the Omegapause, like whatever. This was the pause that came right before Cascade dropped, so it was like, I think that's the Gigapause, right?
Kate: I, I don't remember the names of them.
Xtine: Uh, yeah, whatever, it doesn't matter. But, yeah, so I got back into Homestuck, my second phase of Homestuck came around when, um, Cascade dropped. Um, yeah. And I think I was like, I think I was also — okay I know this is like, the girls episode, but I was also like, my two-week Eridan phase was during the second phase.
Kate: [laughs] GOD.
Xtine: That's...yeah. Also, okay, you have to bleep out her name, but I also know that when I first started reading Homestuck I hated, uh, Vriska. That's a —
Kate: Yeah we'll, we'll get, and I did too and we'll talk about that when you're next on, because I think —
Kate: (continuing) that's a really interesting thing to get into. So look forward to that!
Xtine: Um, and then...uh, well. Oh yeah, the third phase was probably like, actually like, two years ago? Or one year ago? It was around when Homestuck was like, starting to like, um, go into its last legs of the webcomic, so like. I guess, Act 6, before the Retcon, or maybe during the Retcon, I got back into it and I read a *lot* of Davekat fanfic, I read a *lot*, cause that was like my —
Kate: There is a *lot* of it.
Xtine: There *is*, I think DaveKat and JohnDave are like, head-to-head for like, most uh written-for pairing in, on Archive of Our Own, I've been keeping track. Oh, forgot to say, in my second phase I was really into JohnDave, so that's [laughs] interesting because I don't like JohnDave at all any more. Um, and my fourth phase is the one I'm going through right now, except I'm not really like, experiencing it in like the same way I usually experience fandom where like, I read a lot of fanfic for it or whatever, I've just been kind of on, just talking about it a lot. And phase four, my current phase is also the most girl-centric phase because I'm just like, *points at the boys* 'I've had enough of these guys', y'know?
Kate: Yeah. [laughs] I've had enough of these dudes.
Kate: I, yeah, that's what, that's the whole point of this episode. Fuck those dudes, let's talk about some girls.
Kate: Um —
Kate: So, let's talk about, first off, one of your, one of your most famed takes in the fine gallery of Xtine takes. Um, which is uh —
Xtine: I —
Kate: Aradia's sto —
Xtine: Wouldn't say it's like —
Kate: Sorry what?
Xtine: Yeah. Oh I was gonna say I wouldn't say it's like my most famous take because I feel like I'm more famous for my, my other takes, y'know, nudge nudge wink wink —
[A few notes of Megalovania play]
Xtine: Like, eight times.
Kate: Okay, but yeah, but we can't talk about those on this episode, so this is your most famous take for now! Also, you're not even letting me throw to the next segment without interrupting me [laughs]
Xtine: I am so sorry! I'm just [laughs] Okay I'll shut up!
Kate: No no! No, you're the host of the podcast now, how about you throw us to the next segment?
Xtine: Oh yeah, sure. So, um, the next segment of the podcast is, I'm gonna be talking about Aradia, and her entire arc, which I always thought of as a metaphor for depression, which is why I...she's like one of my favorite characters, like her and, nudge nudge wink wink, are my two favorite characters in Homestuck which are very...strange because they're both such different characters, like. One of them's like, always very vis — I'm sorry that I'm talking about her, but I'm not saying her name so like, is it ok— Are you gonna bleep this out?
Kate: No, just go! Just go!
Xtine: Okay, okay. So, the other char— The one character I can't name, she's like, always at the forefront of the webcomic and she's like the one that's like, the very — she's very visibly the driving force of a lot of parts of the comic. And Aradia on the other hand, she's also like, a large mover of the comic, like, but like very, very behind the scenes, um. Like, she's low-key. And I love her. [laughs] I kinda lost my uh, my uh —
Kate: No, yeah, so uh, Aradia is a very important character to the plot, um —
Xtine: Yeah, for sure.
Kate: And, but, sort of intentionally takes a step back from being...a like, direct, like, famous hero type for it —
Kate: In favor of, of playing a more, I guess, passive role? Although one of my secret thing is that I fucking *hate* the stupid active/passive distinction, I think it's dumb, and [laughs] I don't think you can really do much good analysis with it. Um —
Xtine: I never had like an opinion on that, like, classpecting? Um, back when I had more, like, was more, uh, had more of a brain for it, I definitely was more into classpecting, like I could've like watched another series with a char— like, another piece of media and um, classpected the character on the spot, but I'm not in that zone any more.
Kate: Yeah me neither.
Xtine: Um, but yeah, like —
Kate: So, so Aradia, so how, how is Aradia's arc related to depression?
Xtine: Okay, well, let's see. So when she, when we're first introduced to her she's very like, okay with everything, that's like her trademark phrase is being like, '0kay' in that typical quirk of hers, with like, the dead ghost eyes 0_0. And it's just like, to me, just kinda speaks to like, the apathy part of like, clinical depression? Like the uh...[audio cuts in mid-sentence] she's all dead and stuff and just like very 0kay with everything that's like, her trademark phrase is that she's 0kay with any— everything? Which kinda, to me speaks to like, kind of the apathy that is like, exhibited in a lot of, um, clinical depression, and also just like, uh, specifically in dysthymic depression?
Xtine: Uh which is like, a kind of a like, milder, longer uh, longer-term form of depression where you're just like, very low, low-key for, well low-key's not the right word for it, but very low energy for a long period of time.
Xtine: Um, and then like. Like I've always felt like Vr— like, Aradia's...So Aradia goes through a lot of like, visual...transfor— She goes through a lot of visual transformations like every, like every, at every single beat of her arc, right?
Kate: Yeah. absolutely.
Xtine: Um, [mumbling] When we, we first see her she's a ghost. It's very iconic. When we next see her she's put into the robot body that's like, um, given to her by Equius —
Kate: She's a frog first.
Xtine: Which I will never forgive — Oh, shit, god, what kind of an Aradia fan am I?
Xtine: Like I don't — like, to be honest, the frog, the, I don't, I forgot about the frog form because I don't really know how to analyse that?
Xtine: Like, from, the like, through this lens other than like, I guess it's like an extension of her ghostly vibe because she's still '0kay' except this time she ribbets a little bit more [laughs]
Kate: Yeeeah —
Xtine: I guess.
Kate: And I mean we could get into more about like, how frogs and amphibians symbology exists in Homestuck, but, that's really a topic for another time. So, from the frog to the robot...
Xtine: Yeah. And like, when we see her as a robot, she's like, uh, I feel like when she was a robot, that like...for me, that phase is her, like, her phase of like, intense anger?
Xtine: Which kind of is like, a mood-swing-y thing that's kind of typical in mental illness?
Xtine: Maybe not depression specifically but just like...I guess it's kind of like a, it's like a cathartic stage for her, where like all the shit that happens to her as a ghost, you know, or like happened to her before she got turned into a ghost, by y'know nudge nudge wink wink, like, comes out. Like she like, beats up her own heart because of Equius, gets very angry, and she kills, you know nudge nudge wink wink, or nearly kills nudge nudge wink wink. Um...yeah, so that to me is just like, I guess it's an explo— like, yeah, catharsis of that —
Xtine: I guess that's the only way to describe it.
Kate: Yeah and I mean we are, we are gonna talk about this, uh we actually were planning to talk about this next but it's uh, and it's sort of an expression of something that's really common in this work, which is a righteous feminine rage. Um —
Kate: And, and Aradia, y'know, Aradia in her, in that middle phase of her character is like a, really pure expression of that. Um —
Kate: And, and like, I, I actually don't know if there's an image in the whole work that's better at sort of describing that than Aradia beating her own heart [laughs] to death.
Xtine: God. It's so evocative.
Kate: [laughs] It is, it is one of the most iconic series of panels for sure.
Xtine: I would, I would agree. Um, and then after she becomes...after she, after her robot phase, she like literally, uh...After her robot phase, in one of my favorite Flashes ever, [S] Wake, um, also set to uh, Megalovania, shoutout to Undertale's Toby Fox, um. In one of my f— my two favorite characters, one of her worst moments, and the other character's best moments: she comes back to life!! And that like, the series of panels like, detailing like, Aradia's ascension, is like, some of my favorite moments in Homestuck.
Kate: Yeah, absolutely.
Xtine: When she's...freezes Bec Noir, like, the look on her face, I just like...I loved, I love it a lot. And also when she's like, smiling, and she's like, 'I'm gonna stay alive and I intend to s—', like, 'I'm alive and intend to stay that way', that's just like, it just...it meant, means a lot, to me —
Kate: Yeah, it's a, it's a tremendous —
Xtine: Because it's just like, to me that was like, a representation of her...recovering.
Kate: Yeah absolutely, it's like a, y'know, it, the whole motif of her character was based around death and apathy. And —
Kate: For, for her to, y'know, actualize herself and become...y'know, actually be able to find fulfillment and meaning and a deep deep sense of purpose that she doesn't want to abandon for anything, it's one of the best arcs in the work, and it's like, *done* by the middle! It's like, [laughs] it's very —
Kate: It's timely, it's very efficient! [laughs]
Xtine: I would say like, when Aradia like, um, ascends, that is like, I think that was the moment for me where I started faving her, like. When I was like, younger, that moment really resonated me, for, with me for some reason, but now as like, an adult I can kinda see myself in her and see my hopes and dreams in her, and —
Xtine: So, I dunno I just love Aradia.
Xtine: She's a good character!
Xtine: And also, just, just like continuing on this metaphor just like...her...choice — like, after she becomes god tier she like, immediately kind of like, makes herself irrelevant because she finally decides to not be a mover of the plot, and she just, is irrelevant, and I'm just like, y'know what, she's —
Kate: And in many ways, like, because the plot is like, only exists in service to Lord English and is about bringing him about and enabling him, her intentionally stepping out of the plot and intentionally stepping away from it is a nice contrast between her and the Handmaid, who, y'know spans time —
Kate: Serving and enabling this massive universe-spanning plot.
Xtine: Yeah, I love the Handmaid, she's my favorite ancestor honestly like, there's so little about her compared to some of the other ancestors but, like...I don't know —
Kate: There are none that are more important
Xtine: All the imagery surrounding — Yeah, all the imagery surrounding the Magi— Megidos, Megido-s — are just like very evocative to me.
Kate: Yeah, absolutely. And then this is the part where we say Da— like, like Damara deserved better? [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah, Da— okay the thing about Dama— DAh-ma-ruh— Da-MARE-uh, I'm gonna say da-mare-uh.
Xtine: it's that like, like — like, her as her dancestor, I don't like, makes me a little uncomfortable, I mean I'm gonna reclaim her, because I am a —
Kate: It's just, it's *racist*!
Xtine: Yeah, it's really —
Kate: It's just lazy, and racist, and it's one of the worst, it, it is maybe actually the worst thing in Homestuck.
Xtine: I, I actu— I super agree. That and like, all the like, [laughing] r-slurs in the early part of the comic —
Xtine: Are really bad.
Kate: Yeah. [laughs]
Xtine: But I mean, I still, really, I love Damara as like, the Handmaid, and also like I am gonna reclaim her because I myself am like, Asian, so like. She's one of us now, but also she's like [laughing] she should not have been conceptualized in the first place like that!
Kate: No absolutely not, yeah. [laughing] She needs to be confiscated from the original author. You no longer have rights to this character due to the massive missed execution [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah, exactly.
Kate: Um, we can't even say the author's name cause this is the girls episode [laughs]
Xtine: Noooo, oh god.
Kate: Real shit. Alright, so, let's talk about another take that you had that uh, that, that caught some fire on Homestuck Twitter of late —
Xtine: Oh yeah. [laughs]
Kate: Which was: 'Grimdarkness is a girls-only event.'
Xtine: Yo, it so, it so is, like. Like um...it always kinda makes me upset, this is what I was talking about on Twitter by the way, always makes me a little bit upset when I see, like, depictions of male characters with like, Grimdark attibutes, attributes, and like specifically I'm talking about like, for example, Dave Strider, [laughs] Dave Strider as Grimdark it's like, it's a cool thing for sure, like it's a fun thing to experiment like in an artsy way? But, it's just like, you're taking away one of Rose Lalonde's like, primary visual...primary visual motifs, like, Grimdarkness is just so intrinsically entwined with like, Rose's entire arc. So like, to take that away from her and like put it on a different character — Also, technically, specifically in the case of Dave Strider, um, it wouldn't even make sense because Grimdarkness is like, came about because of Horrorterror stuff, and Dave has nothing to do with the Horrorterrors. But anyways, speaking on a, like more general scale, I would say that, um, Grimdarkness is...I forgot my point. Can you...
Kate: Well, here, we can, we can loop it back by getting to, um, our first listener question, cause it was on this topic. Um —
Kate: Um, uh, Hexa, friend of the show, uh: 'I have a question, we've talked a little about Grimdarkness before and the specific difference between girls utilizing their tragedy and horror versus boys. How you you think this reflects in the portrayal of Jade and Rose, and what connection do you think they have as the only characters who have gone, quote, 'Grimdark', within Homestuck?'
Xtine: I haven't like, thought about it specifically in respect to like, Jade and Rose, but I guess it means that they're in love?
Kate: [laughs] Yeah that sounds right to me! That's uh —
Kate: Yeah that, that sounds right. That's actually interesting because, Jade and Rose get...almost no interaction in the comic despite the aesthetic in their respective plot-lines setting them up as, y'know, foils and complements to one another. Both of them have —
Kate: They have the Grimdark phase, both of them have the...y'know, grappling with loneliness and, and alienation, um —
Kate: And, and they also have this contrasting aesthetic, with Rose being the, uh, y'know, goth, shut-in, emo —
Kate: Who then becomes a hero of Light, and...Jade being the, y'know, super outdoors-y, bright and bubbly girl that becomes this isolated —
Xtine: The extrovert, basically.
Kate: Yeah, exactly, this isolated hero of Space, right, which is a black outfit, and I, it's like, they're very much mirrors of each other in that way. Um, and they only get one —
Xtine: Yeah I also think that —
Kate: Sorry, go on?
Xtine: Oh, I was gonna say, I also think that the like, the way that their arcs end are very, is like very different to each-other? Um, because like Jade ends up, like, I mean like, y'know, like she has that conversation with, I believe it was, uh, Alternate Calliope, about like, the role of the Space player is —
Xtine: Basically to be like, isolated and stuff, so Jade kind of...she doesn't end up alone but like, that's her like quote-unquote 'ultimate fate', and with Rose, like, she ends up — her final thing that we see of her is her getting married to Kanaya, which is like Lesbian Rights.
Kate: Yes, absolutely —
Xtine: So it's just like, very interesting.
Kate: Yeah. It is, it is, and uh, this actually goes to, uh, something that, uh, was going to be asked way later? [laughs] Uh —
Kate: But was uh, y'know, 'what are some...' — It was Paige that asked this — '...girls who deserve better from the story?' So i'm gonna, go ahead and move that up to now, because you can't really talk about that without talking about how Jade's story was executed? Um, which is a highly controversial topic? Now —
Kate: I've been on record as saying that I'm actually quite fond of Jade's arc, but there are some very unsatisfying elements of it, absolutely. Um, what are you feelings, do you like, like, y'know, you talked about the arc, you described the structure of it, do you think it's good or satisfying?
Xtine: I'm...okay, my opinion of Jade's arc is that — I've read actually, a good amount of meta trying to...like, explain why Jade's arc is satisfying, and like, I don't really buy any of it because I think that...as like one of the like, first four characters introduced in Homestuck, like, I think, like, as one of the Beta Kids basically, she gets like, the most unsatisfying arc, so I guess that's like my definitive feeling on, feelings on that is that she gets a, she has the most unsatisfying arc out of all four Beta Kids. I mean, John does too, both Prospit — I feel like, all the Prospits in general got kind of a raw deal. Well not, maybe not like, *raw*, but they did not get as much development or, like, as satisfying of, like of a conclusion as like, um, the Strilondes for example. So for Jade, um, yeah. I was just, like, I read the meta about how the, her arc was, in fact, actually complete and satisfying but, I think that if I have to like...think about it for more than like, ten minutes, and I have to read meta in order to like, understand why her arc is complete, then it's not good arc, y'know —
Kate: That's fair.
Xtine: I don't wanna like, dig into it, I'm a very like — I'm a dumbass?
Xtine: So I want it to be like, spoon-fed to me, y'know? [laughs]
Xtine: Spoon-fed to me, but don't be like, overbearing about it.
Kate: Yeah, no, abso— I, I do understand that, especially since, since we're contrasting it with Rose's narrative, like. Y'know, super depressed girl with like, who lost a lot of stuff, struggles with substance abuse, and, like —
Kate: Works through it with maturity and, like, reunites with her family, and then gets fucking *married* to a like, Hot Vampire? Like, there's a *lot there* if you don't wanna fuckin', if you don't wanna get too fuckin' meaty! Like, like —
Kate: Just surface level that's fucking excellent! [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah, exactly, like...I don't know it's just...And also there was like the entire part about like, half of Jade's, like, backstory, or like half of Jade's...Like in, Jade's like entire thing, like her experience of like going through the three yards [transcriber's note: Xtine is referring to the Yellow Yard here, which took three years to traverse], was kind of like, reduced to like, one panel —
Xtine: Or like two panels even, in like, Retcon, because like, there's all that stuff about her losing John and Davesprite and it was just like, compared to like Rose, who got like...Like, Retcon Rose at least got, she at least got to be part of the animatic, you know? [laughs]
Kate: Yeah, yeah [laughs] She's at least in, in, in censored-gram [Megalovania plays]
Xtine: Yeah, exactly [laughs] censored-gram yeah. But Jade didn't get that, so, yeah I would say that Jade did not, she did not, it was an unsatisfying end for me.
Kate: Yeah, and in general, I mean, this story does explore the pain of a lot of its characters really well, and like, Rose's pain is explored, um, but —
Xtine: Very deeply I would say.
Kate: Very deeply, but...Jade's isn't, it's just sort of —
Kate: It's stated a bit, and then just left. [laughs] And it is, it is interesting, and it's like, I do think that there is a point and a purpose to it, um, but also, like, just if you're a person reading and you're like, 'I like Jade, this sucks', like, that is a totally understandable reaction [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah, and I think like, the thing about J — The interesting thing about Jade like, I, I read this take the other day, I don't remember from who so I can't credit you, I'm sorry, was that just like...Jade has kind of always been...kind of a story device? Actually I'm not gonna go down this road, cut this part out [laughs]
Kate: No, no, this sounds interesting!
Xtine: [laughs] Like, becau— Jade, like, Jade has always been like, at least like in the first part, she's always been like, kind of a story device, you know?
Xtine: Like she was like, the way that...Like she knew things and that's how the plot moved forward.
Kate: Yeah. Right, exactly —
Xtine: And, it's like —
Kate: She was a, she was an instrument —
Xtine: In a kind of, her — yeah she was, that was kind of her entire thing for the first couple Acts, um, is that she knew things, and that's how the plot moved forward. Like she, because she knew things she could make things happen and, so that's just like...To me, that's like, kind of my assessment of her character, is that she's the person that does things. Like, I think the most interesting part of her, for me, like, character-wise, was like, when she and Jadesprite fought, like that...was like, added, like, an interesting depth to her character?
Kate: Yeah, there was —
Xtine: And also like, when she meets Feferi and like, she like, throws a tantrum and stuff, like — so...I guess to me Jade is kind of defined by, like her — the most interesting parts of Jade are...the parts when she was like, mad [laughs] I guess
Kate: Yeah. And that's, and that is what makes like, the, y'know, Grimbark Jade interesting, is that, y'know, there is an element of, like, both uh, Jane and Jade like...having a sort of, cathartic reaction to being, to being —
Kate: Part of this, y'know, to being manipulated into being a part of this evil plot. Like there is still, there's like a genuine kernel of...'this is exciting', or 'this is, like, this is satisfying to be able to get back at the world that's been, kind of a bitch to me'. [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah. Like, I know that they're like, being... [loud burp] Someone burped I don't know who it was, but [laughs]
Kate: This is the worst fucking episode [laughs]
Xtine: [laughs] I forgot what, I forgot what I was saying too! [laughs] Um —
Xtine: Bubbles are very neat [laughs] Okay I remember. Um, so they were technically getting like, mind controlled of whatever, but I also feel like a lot of the stuff they were saying, like unfortunately —
Kate: It was in-character!
Xtine: It was in-character and it was, like you got the feeling that it was stuff that they actually felt —
Xtine: And like, it was like the only moment for them to like, let that stuff out, which is also why Grimbark, Grimdarkness, Grimbarkness, is like, such a like, I don't know. That's just like, a female, like, it's, leave it for the girls, c'mon!
Kate: Yeah! Absolutely, and we, and we've talked about this in, in private a little bit but like, the implication of...of female characters turning negative experiences into rage and violence has a very different connotation than male characters doing the same thing —
Kate: Simply because, and I, yeah, I'm saying this and knowing it's going to set some hot fires, but [laughs] Simply because —
Xtine: Like it, that, that does happen in Homestuck and it's painted in a very different light.
Kate: Exactly! Like, male rage in Homestuck is this very destructive, brainless force...y'know, for, literally symbolised by a giant green Incredible Hulk smashing shit because —
Kate: He's like, having a childish tantrum that lasts thousands of years. Um —
Kate: But y'know, and there's just like, the difference in, like...why, where does the emotional repression come from, does it just come from immaturity? Not in the case of the female characters, right, it comes from sort of —
Kate: Being forced into that position, it comes from straining at the bounds of, of definitions of gender. It's —
Xtine: Yeah, and then like, finally breaking out of that, and it's just, really, it's like a...it's definitely like, a power fantasy but it comes off as a power fantasy for a marginalized group, rather than a power fantasy for [laughs] a group that is already pretty privileged, y'know.
Kate: Yeah. Absolutely.
Xtine: It's just, also especially like, nowadays, like, having men...kind of...Having men snap and...take it out on women, is not, like, a great thing [laughs] y'know, like —
Kate: Yeah, there's some, there's some y'know, real-world implications to this that —
Kate: That do have to be considered, I mean y'know we, [laughs] As a famous philosopher once said, we live in a Society, and [laughs]
Kate: Our, all of our fictional works have to be evaluated in the context of being created and consumed within that society and its expectations of gender.
Kate: Um —
Kate: So we talked a bit about Jane, uh, just, just a little bit ago, um, so I know that there's a, there's a hot take, that *you* have —
Xtine: [gleeful cackling]
Kate: About Jane Crocker
Xtine: HEE HEE HEE
Kate: And, do you wanna go ahead and tell it —
Kate: To the audience?
Xtine: Yes!! Yes!! Yes!! Jane Crocker *loves* Taylor Swift, here, can you hear me loud and clear? [speaks very close to the microphone] Jane Crocker, [laughs] loves Taylor Swift!! And I know this in my heart. My secret super power is that I can look at a character and tell whether or not they like Tay — Taylor Swift, and I *know* Jane Crocker, from the webcomic Homestuck, loves, uh, Taylor Swift, and that's just it. Like, [laughs] How do you feel about this?
Kate: Um, y'know, so when you first told me this, um, I was repulsed. I —
Kate: I was, I had a, I had a visceral reaction, y'know? I had a, I maybe actually threw a tantrum! About [laughs]
Xtine: Oh YEAH??
Kate: [laughs] I, I mean I, I y'know, I kinda, I kinda yelled in all c— I, I had a very Jane Crocker-like reaction, which was yelling in all caps in our group chat, um —
Xtine: Yeah... [laughs]
Kate: Ranting about it and saying a number of things which I now regret. Um [laughs]
Xtine: I like, don't even remember the things you said so you're like, good.
Kate: No, no I'm not actually apologizing about this, I'm, we're doing a bit?
Kate: We're like on a podcast?
Xtine: Oh, true, true.
Kate: Yeah —
Xtine: OOHHHHhhhh we're, 'Acting', ohhhhhh —
Kate: Yeah, there we go. That's right, that's right folks, the Perfectly Generic Podcast is all fake!. Um, [laughs]
Xtine: [laughs] These are, the— the, none of this I'm saying right now is what I actually believe, and do, I do, I *am* joking about that. Backslash S, as they do on Twitter.
Kate: Yeah, you, yeah you're actually in real life, like, you only care about male characters, you're...y'know, like —
Kate: Gamzee number one...
Xtine: [groan of disgust] [laughs] [various muffled 'fuck'-adjacent noises]
Xtine: THAT'S TAKING IT TOO FAR! [laughs]
Kate: [laughs] You're down, you're Down With the Clown! [laughs] Alright [laughs]
Xtine: FUCK OOOOOFF
Kate: [laughs] Um, but now I realize that, that look, like, a huge part — Okay, so my initial negative reaction to it was that, a huge part, when you look at Jane's interests, they're like very culturally niche and weird, she likes like, like, comedian dudes, she's such a huge fan of the webcomic Problem Sleuth that she like, wears a character from it on her shirt. Like, she had the kind of eclectic interests, that like, I sorta related really hard to, and I don't talk about my own like, experiences with Homestuck as much on the show as I usually do the guest, but like, I related super hard to Jane —
Kate: Um, and so I just projected my distaste for Taylor Swift onto this fictional character. Um, *but*, it's actually an elegant theory, because —
Xtine: [laughs] Thank you!
Kate: There, there are significant elements of, y'know the emotional repression, and like, gender roles that she doesn't quite fit into comfortably, that are like, core conflicts of her character? And then —
Kate: The like, bitchy Taylor Swift phase, like, 'Look what you made me do' phase, is very much like —
Kate: Her snapping in the middle of the work, and y'know, like, alienating all her friends, and eventually like, going Crockertier, um...Like, it is actually super good, um, and it is correct —
Xtine: Thank you!
Kate: And, and I'm —
Xtine: Thank you.
Kate: I'm...providing this podcast, y'know, I'm putting it on this platform, to disseminate it to the masses so that they can know that, I actually no longer disagree with this take, the hatchet has been buried.
Xtine: Thank you!
Kate: And Xtine is correct.
Xtine: Do you know, you actually made it...Thank you so much, you know you actually made it sound a lot smarter than, like —
Xtine: I had any thought to, but like basically yeah. Like, basically yeah? [laughs]
Xtine: Like I mean the way I always imagined it is that she's like, she's al— it's always seems like Jane has always been like, 'Oh I'm not like Other Girls', y'know —
Xtine: Like, which is like kind of, like, a misogynistic kind of thing, but like it's also —
Kate: Yeah, so I think, I think Jane has a lot of internalized misogyny! LIke I think she has it in the comic!
Xtine: Oh sure. Yeah, for sure! And...So she's like, not like, Other Girls, so I feel like the fact that she likes Taylor Swift is, would be like, definitely, like, a sense, a source of tension for her —
Xtine: Because she doesn't want to like mainstream Pop but she does, and also of course she *does* listen to Teardrops On My Guitar, and...You *know* she listens to Teardrops On My Guitar, and You Belong With Me... [laughs] When she's going through her...compulsory heterosexual crush on Jake, like —
Xtine: Like, for sure.
Xtine: You know she does. These are just facts. Also I do think that, um, this is like getting, going into headcanon territory now, but, like, I think she did have like, a crush on Taylor Swift but she doesn't reali— like, she didn't like, recognize it as such. Um —
Kate: If you take —
Xtine: Especially —
Kate: Here's the thing, if you take, um, the post-game Snapchats where she's like, heavily and clearly flirting with Roxy and Calliope, and, and then —
Xtine: Oh my god she is.
Kate: Like, first off, let's just say: it's the Official Opinion of this podcast that like, That's Just How It Be. Like [laughs] If you don't, if you don't see that then, I'm gonna go ahead and say that's a You problem. But there is —
Kate: I think, a like, much later, like, queer discovery narrative for Jane, but it mostly happens off-screen, it mostly happens after the interactions we see in the mainline webcomic.
Xtine: Yeah, for sure, I f— I like...Because I never felt like Jane really got like, the self discovery that, for example, Dave Strider did —
Xtine: Which, that, that sounded like I was like, like, being anti-Dave there, y'know, I —
Kate: Very few characters, very few characters in fiction have had a journey of self-discovery as written as satisfyingly as Dave Strider's was, like, frankly.
Xtine: Yeah. Yeah, I, I'm, I've, seems like I've been shitting a lot of Dave on this podcast but, I, he's actually like one of my most favorite like, male characters, in like, any uh, series of fiction, I'm just...I'm going it for the g—
Kate: We're just tired, man? We're just ti— we just wanna talk about girls for a while!
Xtine: I'm just being a misandrist, y'know? Sorry Dave, that you're the victim of misandry on this podcast!
Kate: [laughs] Yeah! Yeah, we just wanna talk, we just, we'll just fuck around and talk about girls for a bit. Um —
Kate: Also, also —
Xtine: But yeah, but anyway, tldr —
Kate: Jane butch lesbian.
Xtine: Yeah, you're exactly right.
Kate: Yeah [laughs]
Xtine: Like, tldr, um, Jane Crocker...loves Taylor Swift and she is a butch lesbian about it.
Kate: Yeah. I like that. Alright, let's get to the listener questions then, because, like, we have —
Kate: So fucking *many*?
Kate: Uh, Xtine, you are a popular dude! [laughs]
Xtine: I did not realize this! [laughs]
Xtine: I don't know where all these questions came from. Or maybe it's because it's the topic of girls, and girls are like, really good to talk about~?
Kate: It's true, I do like talking about girls. Um, so Sis, @stacklip, wants to uh, hear about how Terezi, and how female characters are rarely allowed to be actually strange and ridiculous and weirdos except if they're joke characters. And I love —
Xtine: Oh my god —
Kate: This prompt so much, I'll let you go first.
Xtine: Oh yeah, so I [laughs] I was miffed when Sis brought this up, in a joking way of course, but like [laughs] I was already gonna talk about this, and then now that Sis brought it up it seems like it's not my idea any more, but, yeah, I love Terezi so much, she's...actually like, in my opinion one of the most like, well-developed female characters in the c— like, in Homestuck. I think she has like the most complete arc, there's just, like, so much dedicated to he— like, she has so much screen time and all of it's like, *good*! You see like, her at her worst, you see her at best, see her in-between. You see her in love, for example, with uh, nudge nudge wink wink —
Xtine: Um, you see her go through...comphet, basically.
Xtine: Like that entire arc —
Kate: You don't need him.
Xtine: Yeah. Like, I do have mixed feelings about the Retcon, but for me, like, if anything I love the Retcon for...Terezi rewriting the entire thing to write boys out of her life, that is such a powerful move, like —
Kate: It is!
Xtine: I love that so much.
Kate: It's so baller.
Xtine: And anyways, but it, but speaking about what Sis was talking about specifically, I love also that Terezi's just like, she's so fucking weird! And she's like, depicted in like, really...un...She's depicted, like visually unflattering ways, like there's that one GIF of, I think in one of the walk— like one of the earlier walkarounds where she's cackling, and it's like, overly fast, I love that GIF of her that's my favorite, like, canon image of her.
Kate: Yeah, she gets to have these like, big, like, like huge expression and, like —
Kate: Uses gross imagery and just like, like just —
Kate: Like, licks weird stuff, like she's so...*powerfully weird*, and she's very funny —
Xtine: I love her so much.
Kate: But —
Kate: The joke isn't on her, like, and, the way that she's portrayed by the story, she's like one of the biggest damn heroes in the whole story! Like, 'F1X TH1S' —
Xtine: Yeah, she *is* —
Kate: Is one of the biggest heroic moments in the entire fuckin' thing! [laughs]
Xtine: Oh my god. I just, I love Terezi so much, she's just such a good character and she just...Like, I always joke that I could never read, like, a piece of media unless there's a character that's, nudge nudge wink wink, like, like nudge nudge wink wink in it, but —
Xtine: Like, that's also very true of Terezi.
Kate: Yeah. Um, Metastrider asks about 'the jadeblood role within troll society, and how that informs Kanaya and Porrim's characters'. Um, so first off, I will say as a preface, I don't have a lot of thoughts about Porrim, um, I don't have a lot of thoughts about —
Xtine: She's *hot*...
Kate: I don't have a lot of thoughts about, about BEH-fuh-rus [Beforus] in general, I don't think it's meant to be super interesting and it certainly didn't catch me—
Xtine: Did you, did you say...
Xtine: Did you say BEH-fu-rus?
Kate: I did say BEH-fu-rus.
Xtine: It's buh-FORE-us —
Kate: It's buh-FORE-us —
Xtine: It's BE-FORE-us.
Kate: Yeah but that's so inelegant!
Kate: It's so obviously stupid! I guess Karkat —
Xtine: I mean that's, but, you know the entire point of the Dancestors though is that they were all...stupid.
Kate: Yeah, that's true, except for, except for —
Xtine: Like, so —
Kate: Meenah, and, and Aranea.
Xtine: Oh yeah of course. Uh-RAY-nee-uh, Ah-ruh-NAY-uh you mean?! Ah-ruh-NAY-uh?!
Kate: [laughs] See, so, oh my god, okay [laughs] Um —
Xtine: [laughs] Sorry I just nudged you off your train of thought, that ha—
Kate: No —
Xtine: I do that to myself all the time, so welcome to *me*.
Kate: Yeah you were really, you, I mean you're sowing so much fucking chaos on the podcast! Um, Kanaya...[sighs] Oh man, this is like a whole thing, actually I kind of wanna do a whole...I kinda wanna do like, a whole fuckin' episode that's just, the Kate episode, where Kate talks about troll gender. Um —
Kate: Cause — Jadebloods are uh, jadebloods are like, super ingrained with that, and the conception of gender of Alternia and like, how gender impacts our troll characters. Um, and —
Xtine: Yeah. For sure.
Kate: Part — part of Kanaya's narrative is, uh, y'know she rejects traditional femininity in many ways, I mean she's a, y'know, chainsaw-wielding badass. Um —
Kate: And — but, but, she isn't made any less powerful by her motivation to, sort of embrace this assigned role, and she in fact, like, finds meaning, dignity and value in the continuation of the troll race. Um, she e— she ends up, just y'know, despite growing up isolated, like, not in the brooding caverns with the other jades, but isolated with a virgin Mother Grub, she ends up...becoming sort of the ultimate jadeblood by that way, and it's part of the reason why her arc is so satisfying and so interesting. Um, it is, it is, y'know —
Xtine: It's also — sorry, sorry to interrupt, but I also wanna say it *is* like, very, very cool and good that, the character that's like the most, one of the most visually sapphic characters in the narrative, like, also has themes surrounding motherhood, like, that's such a like, great thing.
Kate: It is.
Xtine: Especially since like, I feel like most like, lesbians in real life, and also just like gay people in general, have such a hard time like, trying to like, be parents, that like, Kanaya being ab— like, her entire— All her themes being around motherhood is just like, very powerful.
Kate: Yeah, absolutely. It is, it is, and like, Kanaya and, Kanaya's just fuckin', she's *good representation* baby! Like, [laughs] Kanaya —
Kate: Kanaya's just a good character! Um, so thanks for the, thanks for the question. Uh, arch asks: 'If you could rewrite Homestuck to add the uh, F/F interaction Hussie robbed you from, uh, who would the characters be', and this challen— this is a high challenge because you're not allowed to say you-know-who —
Kate: And anybody. Um, so you've gotta pi—
Xtine: OH, true.
Kate: You gotta pick two other characters! Who would it be for you?
Xtine: I mean like, y'know, I wasn't even thinking about you-know-who in like, her other relationships with like, girls, I was ac— I was, I have like, two, uh, pairs in mind actually.
Xtine: So, one of them for sure is Jade and Rose, I think.
Xtine: As one of the like, two, like, o— the, like, basically the Beta Girls, like the fact that they only have like, I think two or three Pesterlogs together? And in both of those Pesterlogs they were not very...like, I feel like, in one of the Rose was like on the verge of going Grimdark, like, Jade was like, 'Hey look at the globe' and, that was like, basically — like and Rose was like, kind of like, having like — like, they were having like one, like, two one-sided conversations in that —
Xtine: It was not a good — great interaction, and I don't remember what the other one is, but, like, the fact they don't —
Kate: 'I require a font of frighteningly non-specific information.' [laughs]
Xtine: Um, but yeah, so, just, this effect that you don't even see, like, there's not any, like, great interaction between them, like, really sucks.
Xtine: Because like, you know, like, all — both boys, both Beta Boys get great rel— have great relationships with like, all the other three Betas, but, not like that — Also the Alphas have like a pretty solid, uh, relationship with like, each-other, it's pretty...well-written, well-developed. Um, so that's one of them. And the second one [laughs] This one's a little bit, um...I forgot the [mumbling] — But, this is, okay, this second one is me being like a little bit of a Shipper, and, [voice becoming increasingly cutesy and comical] I wish that Aradia and Feferi had had a conversation together~ [laughs] you know~?
Kate: Uh-huh, would you d— would you describe this as your fave wlw rarepair, since this is a later question from Becca, loravura.
Xtine: Um, yeah it's my fave...wlw rarepair that doesn't include nudge nudge wink wink —
Xtine: I would say.
Xtine: Just like, the, like the idea of like, the highest blood and like the lowest blood, just like, their interaction together would be very interesting for me to see, to be honest.
Xtine: Like I have a bunch of, bunch of headcanons about how that would go down, but like, I wish I could've seen it in like, real life, you know? Like they don't even like, mention each-other, and that is what we were robbed of.
Kate: Mhmm. Nico wrote in with something we talked about, which was, y'know, like, how important Plot movers women in this comic are. Um —
Xtine: Yeah, I really like this question —
Kate: Yeah. 'I wanna hear you guys talk about the critical roles played by women in Homestuck because nothing would've worked out without them, but the fandom tends to put more light on the men in the series.' Um, and this is a thing that we talk about a lot on the Twitbox, and it makes people very mad. [laughs] Um —
Xtine: [laughs] It sure does!! [laughs]
Kate: Yeah! Um...[sighs]
Xtine: Oh yeah, sorry, okay, I have to actually answer the question, huh —
Kate: But like, men — okay, so we talk, we've been talking basically about the, like, the huge plot movers and the, and the importance of women for this whole episode, so I don't think we need to directly address that, like, we, we just, we know it. Um [laughs]
Kate: But, in terms of the dichotomy in the amount of fan content created...y'know, this is a common, sort of, trans-fandom problem because it's a...societal problem. Um [laughs]
Kate: Which is that —
Xtine: Because —
Kate: Sorry, go on?
Xtine: Oh, well I was just gonna say it's just like, [noise of discontent] the reason why women don't, like, female characters don't get a lot of spotlight in most fandoms is because, to be honest, they're not as well-written as male characters are, but in this case of Homestuck? Some of them, I feel like there are more well-written female characters than there are well-written male characters.
Kate: Yes, like Hussie has like, two dude voices, and then a *bunch* of like incredibly, like, diverse and interesting female perspectives [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah! [laughs] Like, somehow he did that!
Xtine: I don't know how!
Kate: You're like, you're like, either, you're like Dave, or Jake, and you're just on the Dave-Jake spectrum if you're a dude in Homestuck.
Xtine: Oh where does — where does Eridan fall on that?
Kate: Eridan is *far*, it's like, like, hard on the, on the Jake side.
Kate: Yeah. This is my —
Kate: This is a hot take now, it's that there's a Dave-Jake spectrum of male character writing. Then, then there's like —
Xtine: I —
Kate: Then there's like, bad person and good person and like Eridan is *way* on the bad person side, like far away from Jake.
Xtine: Gotcha, I mean, I would've put him more on the Dave side just because like, his way of talking is like, a little bit more freeform and like, less...I don't know.
Kate: Maybe he's like —
Xtine: I dunno.
Kate: True neutral on this scale.
Xtine: I, okay. Okay this is where we've, where, we're, we're concluding this conversation I guess because —
Kate: This is the girls episode and we are actually talking about Eridan [laughs] on the fucking girls episode!
Xtine: OHhhh, ohhh we did warn that this would happen like [laughs] like before we started recording we were like, we can't let this happen, and here we are. Anyways, um, what were we saying? Oh, the critical roles of — yeah.
Kate: And this question concludes with, uh, thank you Nico for this, 'Also Roxy is a trans woman, please agree'. Hard agree.
Xtine: Yeeeeees. Super agree.
Kate: Hard agree. Hard agree. Ro— Roxy and Dirk are trans, uh, I'm gonna lift the te— I'm gonna lift the ban on saying her name because Vriska's extremely trans, um [laughs]
Xtine: Oh, yeah.
Kate: We'll talk about that in Episode 8 —
Xtine: Dave is also *very* trans. Dave Strider's also very trans —
Xtine: I will say.
Kate: Um...so let's see, so yeah they're, they're all trans. Great question.
Kate: Victor Luiz asks if there's any significance to the top subordinates of serial misogynist Lord English/Doc Scratch being Sn8wman, Her Imperious Condescension, and the Handmaid, like, some of the most powerful women in the universe of this comic. Um, and —
Xtine: I would say that there is some significance to it, uh, I don't really know how to...enumerate it in less clearer terms than it's just regular misogyny. I mean not on Andrew Hussie's part, but like, as like, a reflection of real life misogyny perhaps?
Kate: Right, like, like the villainous, the villainous aspect in...uh, like Homestuck, is very clearly like, misogyny and like, heteronormativity and toxic masculinity —
Xtine: Oh sure—
Kate: Like, Caliborn embodies all of this to like a huge degree. Um —
Xtine: Oh my god, he does.
Kate: Yeah. I mean he's like, *explicitly* painted repeatedly as like an unrepentant misogynist. An unrepentantly, like, just, like a gross dude. Um —
Kate: And the, and y'know the actions that he takes out as Lord English follow that pattern, right, he's — finds the most powerful women in the universe and subjugates them, like, that is, that is the explicit evil of misogyny in Homestuck's universe. Um, it was a good question —
Xtine: Also I would say — there's, this is like a potentially triggering topic, but Doc Scratch's like, propensity towards manipulating young girls —
Xtine: Is like, really — it's, it's just like I feel like every single, well, most aspects of misogyny are represented in Homestuck, and they are represented in a very clearly bad way, and that's why Homestuck's good, actually.
Kate: Yeah, it is —
Xtine: Because like, I feel like, the, all the women are just like, such forces of good. Except for Her Imperious Condescension, but, she's hot, so —
Kate: Yeah, so she gets a pass. Girl hot. Evil is —
Kate: Evil is bad? Right over my head. Girl hot?
Kate: That's where I'm at —
Kate: [laughs] Um, let's see. Uh, 276burgers asks our thoughts about the relationship between Aranea and Meenah, and Meenah's relationship with the Alpha trolls in general. We've already said we don't care much about the Alphas so I don't really know anything about Meenah's relationship with the other ones? Um —
Kate: But Aranea and Mania's [transcriber's note: I don't see anything wrong here] dy— Aranea and Meenah's dynamic is one of the most entertaining in the whole comic. They're, like, such an odd couple —
Xtine: I would say —
Kate: They like —
Kate: Play off each-other so funnily, um, they have some of the like, best comedy moments in it. Uh —
Xtine: They do.
Kate: And — and, basically —
Xtine: Like the parts which were like —
Kate: Aranea was a fuckin' — Aranea was a, was like...shoulda, shoulda stuck with what she got, dog!
Xtine: Yeah I knoooow, like, it's also like — I mean the way I analyse it also kind of from a shippy perspective, like I believe that like, Meenah...had? Romantic feelings for Aranea —
Xtine: But like, one-sided. Aranea was too involved, self-involved, which is like, I think a Serket problem, which is being very self —
Kate: Yeah, and this i— well, the same reason that Porrim dumped Aranea [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah, for sure. Um, I would say that like, the only reason, like, narratively the only reason why the other Alpha trolls exist — and also just like, literally, actually, the only reason why the Alpha trolls exist, um, is because of Meenah. Like, they're, so like she is the reason why they exist, like, because y'know she literally saved their session —
Xtine: Or, no, she didn't save their session, she saved their souls?
Kate: Yeeeah, she's Jesus!
Xtine: Like, so she's, like, I guess, Meenah's like, the linchpin of the Alpha trolls. Except for, I feel like, I haven't played Meenahbound in a while but isn't it like, there's like a weird time thing where Meenah like, had just, like, from her perspective like, blown up the meteor, but like —
Kate: Yeah she shows up super after like, everyone else has had years. It's very interesting.
Xtine: Yeah. Yeah.
Kate: And Aranea's been like, waiting the whole time for her to show up.
Xtine: [laughs] Because uh, like they're the only two people that can like, put up with each other.
Kate: Yeah! [laughs]
Xtine: They're also like, my two favourite Dancestors because they're also the two most relevant Dancestors [laughs]
Kate: Yeah, yeah they're the two good ones, let's face it. Porrim's good she —
Kate: Just does — like, doesn't, she like shows up for like a couple interesting deets and then is done. Um —
Kate: Okay so we already talked about — I already asked who your fave, like, wlw rarepair is. I'm gonna go ahead and lift the Vriska ban so you can say what your favorite one overall is.
Xtine: [sighs, as a few notes of Megalovania play for the last, melancholy time] FUCK! God. [laughs] Okay! I would say then, I guess it's VrisRose, to be honest.
Kate: Yeah same.
Xtine: I really like Vriska/Rose because I think they're just like, they're both such destructive female characters, like, I feel like everyone is scared of them, but like in different ways of course. Um, and I just feel like they would get each other. And like, they also both have snark, and like, I don't know, it's just like, I mean you and I have already talked about this at length. Um, I can talk about this more on the Vris— I'm tryna save, I'm tryna save some, some of the juicy tidbits for —
Kate: Yeah, we'll, yeah we'll, we'll, well, let's just, let's just — I'm gonna, I'm gonna...put a pin in this —
Xtine: Cut it off.
Kate: With these lines from Kanaya: 'Its Okay To Be Dangerous. Lots Of People Are, And Dangerous People Can Be Really Important. Maybe Even The Most Important.' [laughs] Alright —
Xtine: Aw I forgot she said that!
Kate: Yeah! [laughs] I know, Kanaya is amazing [transcriber's note: yeah she fucking is, god] Um, who is —
Xtine: I love Kanaya.
Kate: Uh, yeah, so, and I have the same fave rarepair. Who is best girl, Xtine?
Xtine: FUCK. HNNGGGYUUUH! [laughs] I Can't! GUUUUUUGHHH okay, I guess because we have a, a certain ban on this episode I'm gonna say Aradia.
Kate: Alright, cool. Uh, Jane butch lesbian? Jade — *Jane* butch lesbian.
Kate: Yeah. Jane butch lesbian. Thank you, thank you Becca.
Xtine: Thank you Becca.
Kate: Let's see, uh, Sis also wanted to talk about, uh, gender in troll society, which we did, so I'll, and I'll get to later as well, so that's, we'll skip that for now. Um, [laughs] and also, how Rose Lalonde's intro and story fit into 2009-2010 teenage girl archetypes. And, we also talked about this, like, a little bit, um, but it's true she's like, such like, this shut-in, bookish goth. Um —
Xtine: Yeah. She also definitely gives me, like, vibes of like, 'Not Like Other Girls', y'know.
Kate: Yeah exactly, she's like, she's like a little ashamed of being into Squiddles? [laughs]
Xtine: Yeah, yeah for sure.
Kate: And it's part of like, that's part of like the friction between her and Jade, that like, all of the, like, their, their brief interactions in the comic are like a little, a little testy [laughs] because of that.
Kate: Contrast in their like, attitudes and approaches to femininity.
Xtine: I woulda, I wish that we could've seen more of that. I mean, I've already talked about that at length, but —
Xtine: [burps disgustingly] Excuse me, someone burped again I don't know who it was.
Xtine: Um —
Kate: Worst episode.
Xtine: Also I'm gonna just [laughs] Burps: The Podcast.
Xtine: But, um, I also just wanna, give like a brief mention, like, to my opinions about Rose Lalonde's arc. Um, I just, I wanna say that I am, this is a, an unpopular opinion I think but I am like a little bit disappointed about Rose Lalonde's arc because, like, the first part of the comic is like, building her up to like, be, like this big, game changer in a little way, like. We see her, like, blowing up the gates, and like she's like...[audio cuts in mid-sentence] —londe is like introduced, or not even just introduced but like, one of her like first, like, beats of her story is like, blowing up one of theeeeee, one of Sburb's like, gates and stuff. And like, I wish they had like, gone do— further down that path because like, she kinda goes from like, an outwardly destructive character to like, where all her destruction is like, turned inwards, like her alcoholism?
Xtine: But...which actually, you know what, actually, no I take everything back. I like, I'm fine with Rose Lalonde's arc. Well, okay, I, I just, I guess I wish that...they had pursued more of like...her kind of being...more of a game changer because it kind of like, lampshades that actually, in, um...one of her later conversations where she's just, kinda laments how irrelevant and how little she can help, and stuff, and how she's like, kind of, being taken over, like, superseded by Vriska as a leader and stuff.
Xtine: I thought that was something that we, that could've been, gone into a little bit more, it would've been interesting. But, anyways, sorry, that was irrelevant to [laughs] the question, but I just wanted to get that in.
Kate: Mhmm. Um, let's see. Uh, legendarynigian says, uh: 'Who'd win in a fight? Jade or Roxy?' Um, so —
Xtine: I would say Jade because she's a little over-powered.
Kate: Yeah Jade's OP, BUT, but, Roxy's crafty, she killed the Condesce. I mean that, you gotta, you gotta give her credit for that.
Xtine: Okay, she did, yeah, but that's because the Condesce was...I guess her voidy, voidy power, *powers* made her...um, invisible to the Condesce so she found an opening to do it, uh, but I think like if it was like a...one-v-one, uh, like head-on thing, then Jade would win heads— hands down, she's just a powerhouse. Like, she literally has to be asleep for one of, like, the biggest battles of Homestuck so that she doesn't kerb stomp everybody.
Xtine: But I think, like, in any other circumstance then it's like, up in the air.
Kate: Yeah. Uh let's see, we were asked for some fuckin'...I'm just gonna, uh, get, like, lightning-round some opinions from you, uh —
Kate: Marcheridan says 'Aranea best cerulean girl?'
Xtine: Okay this is definitely bait for me to trip up and say that [laughs]
Kate: Ahem. Ahem. Uh, alright.
Kate: Uh, we just talked about, we've talked about Rose, we've talked about Aranea. Um, so the last question is, gutsychao asks, uh, like, 'Opinion of Jane and Nanna? And like, how that went?' Um —
Xtine: I feel like...I feel like Jane in general had some, like relationships to like, her counterpart — I feel like both Prospit kids actually, all the Prospit kids, was really lacking in, kind of like, the, inter-dimensional, inter-generational relationships that —
Kate: Yeah, like —
Xtine: And like, seeing any of that, actually in general, because like you go, you see a lot about the relationships between the Striders across dimensional lines, like you get like a really great conversation about it.
Xtine: Um, you, and you see Roxy and Rose, like, kind of, not really resolved — well, yeah, they, they get something, you know. And, Jane and...John bare— they get like a hug —
Xtine: And Jade and Jake do not get anything, that really sucks.
Kate: Yeah. It does, it does suck.
Xtine: So — and, so kind of like, going off that, Jane and Nanna, I like, I think it would've been cool to see, like, like, Jane talks to kind of like an older, more — an older version of herself who was like more comfortable with herself, y'know — [transcriber's note: this conversation does, in fact, happen, on page 7805 of the comic]
Xtine: Because I, like, Jane to me has always, like, kinda struck me as like, a character who was, like...in the middle of, like, in the middle of finding herself, because she was like, in denial about a lot of things, like, she's introduced as like being mind-controlled and in denial about everything that Roxy tells her, and...Also, like, all, like, all the stuff with Jake, like she's just, has a lot to discover about herself. And I feel like Nanna would've been able to help her with that.
Kate: Yeah, absolutely, and it does, it does seem like she's in a much happier and more fulfilled place after the ending of the game, and after that, y'know, after...Nanna talks to her and makes herself available as 'her sprite now'. Um, so, y'know, it's, it's another one of those things where it's like, we got —
Xtine: It happens off-screen.
Kate: It's, we're just like: Epilogue, right? [laughs] Y'know if you're an optimist about the Epilogue then —
Kate: Then you think that, y'know, the — then you think that that can be resolved satisfyingly. If you're a pessimist about the Epilogue then you're mad about it, and that's, and that's — both viewpoints are valid.
Xtine: That's just it, that's just the crux of image, uh, like, I am like...I've like, made my peace with the Epilogue, like, maybe coming out after the fourth Evangelion: Rebuild movie comes out? [laughs]
Xtine: Which is like...yeah, which is gonna be like, basically, a *long* time from now —
Xtine: I'm just like, y'know, like this might as well happen.
Kate: Uh-huh. Um, so that's our show! Uh —
Kate: Yeah! Uh, this is, this was a, this was — we hit a stride in the middle, you know?
Kate: Uh —
Xtine: [laughing] It was a bumpy ride at first!
Xtine: A little bit!
Kate: Um, so thi— uh, this has been, uh the Perfectly Generic Podcast? You can find us on the web at perfectlygenericpodcast.com, uh, you can also find us on Twitter @pgenpod, p-g-e-n-p-o-d. Um, subscribe to us on iTunes, or in your favorite podcast client. Uh, be sure to give us a rating on iTunes, if that's how you get your podcasts. Um, you can also follow me personally at uh, twitter.com/gamblignant8 which is my Homestuck account, or @KateMitchellOW, which is my work account. Um, and uh, Xtine, thank you for coming on the show, do you wanna pitch your social media?
Xtine: Yeah, sure. Um, actu— like, uh, you should definitely follow those, but more importantly, you should follow *my* Twitter account, @GAlNAX dot twitter dot com. Um, that's not how the URL works, but you know what I mean. Um...yeah, I talk about myself a lot. And about, um, can I, can I say the name now, because we're like, we're at the end?
Kate: Yeah, the show's over, this is the post-show.
Xtine: Oh yeah whatever. So, yeah, I talk about Vriska a lot, so if you wannaaaaaa, look at me talk about Vriska then you wanna come over! Come on!
Kate: [audio cuts in mid-sentence] by Lavande, you can find uh, her at soundcloud.com/lavande. Um, or the same on Bandcamp or Twitter, uh, Lavande is my friend Autumn. The uh, opening track was uh, 'pamplemousse', and the ending track is 'vlook', both from the new album 'planting planets'. I gave it a purchase, it's fucking excellent, I'm gonna let it play us out. Thank you for listening to the Perfectly Generic Podcast. Xtine d'you have any last words for the listeners?
Xtine: Uh, I love Vriska.
Kate: Goodbye everybody!!! [laughs]