Disclaimer: Trixie Belden and all characters belong to Random House. No profit has been/is being/will be produced from this story.
A/N: I don't hate Jim/Trixie. Only the poorly written stuff and the fics that slutshame Dot.
Helpful Vocabulary for this story:
Slut-shaming is the act of making a woman feel guilty or inferior for being sexually active, having multiple sex partners, or acting or dressing in a way that is deemed excessively sexual, often by calling them a "slut" or other derogatory terms, or drawing attention to the woman's sexual acts and exposing them for the sake of mockery.
The Madonna-Whore complex is a pattern of thought that divides women into two mutually exclusive categories: Madonnas and Whores. The virtuous Madonna figure, possessing and protecting social virtue (and deploring sexuality) is an object of worship and everything that a woman should aspire to be. However, sex is not part of this. Any woman who fails to live up to the Madonna standard in any part is a worthless Whore, driven by sexual desire and therefore lacking morality. As soon as a woman is known to have an active sex life, she is automatically viewed as a whore.
The view of women as either Madonnas or whores is damaging to all women. It limits women's sexual expression, offering two mutually exclusive ways to construct a sexual identity. The duality implies that women must assume subservient roles, either as madonnas to be protected or as whores to be punished by men.
Male chauvinism refers to the belief that male gender is superior to the female gender. It can also refer to the double standard on male and female sexuality: a male is a "pimp" and a "stud" if he sleeps with three separate girls in the same night and generally regarded with praise and admiration, but a female is "trashy" and a "slut" if she sleeps with three separate guys in the same night and regard with contempt and disgust.
On with the story!
In the summer between her sophomore and junior years of high school, Dorothy Murray visited her grandparents in Sleepyside.
"Good to see you, Dotty!" Her grandmother, Iris Hartman, greeted her with a warm hug.
"How's my girl doing?" Charles Hartman clapped Dorothy, or "Dot," as she preferred to be called, on the back. "Chasing off the boys, Dot? I'm glad your mother taught you judo, so you can protect yourself if you ever need to, instead of being some helpless damsel. Now that you've got your black belt, what are you going to tackle next?"
Dot laughed, tossing her long, glossy blonde hair. "Well, in between working and practicing my skating, I've been taking some kickboxing classes."
"That's my granddaughter- a fighter!" Charles smiled.
"Dear, we'll be heading out to our rotary club meeting in a few minutes," Iris informed her. "You're welcome to explore the countryside. It can be quite beautiful."
"If you do, feel free to take my bike for a spin," Charles offered.
"Oh, but your bike has that flat tire, doesn't it?" Iris recalled. "Dotty, there's an old bike in the shed. It might still be useable."
"All right." Dot waved goodbye to her grandparents, then extracted the bike from the shed. The bike's frame was somewhat rusty and the chain awkwardly stiff, but there was still air in the tires.
Dot cruised down the country path, opting to travel down empty dirt roads rather than neighborhoods where children frolicked on the green grass lawns. After riding nearly a mile without seeing a soul, she was surprised to find a blonde boy with a crewcut pedaling his own bike.
"Oh, hi, Mart," she said, smiling, grateful that she had found a familiar face. She recognized him as Andrew Belden's nephew. He and his friends had visited his uncle's sheep farm in Des Moines during the spring.
Any gratitude on her part vanished when Mart sent an utterly poisonous look in her direction.
"You're so fake, you know that?" He spat at her. "Trying to steal Jim away from our wonderful goddess that is the perfect Trixie. Well, I can see right through you!"
He rode off on his bike, following the road that she had put behind her. Dot watched him go with an openmouthed stare, trying to discern his words. But then she shrugged and continued on her way.
Further down the road, Dot encountered Diana Lynch, who was a friend of the Beldens, if Dot recalled correctly.
"Hey, Diana," Dot greeted her somewhat cautiously.
Dot's reluctance wasn't misplaced. Again, she found herself pinned with a hostile glare.
"I can't believe that you have the audacity to show your face around here. Jim is busy and I don't have any patience. I think you should go back to the salon and stick your nails in someone else."
Dot almost flinched, taken aback by the harshness of the younger girl, but she remembered to stand strong in the face of adversity. "What are you talking about?" She asked, reeling with disbelief.
"Don't play dumb with me, Dot, even if it is your natural state. You're not welcome in Sleepyside after you tried to steal Jim away from Trixie. There is only room in this town for one of us, and Harrison would be happy to drive you back to the corn field you came from. Aren't you late for your chores? Your shovel awaits."
Dot frowned quizzically at Diana, wondering if the girl was mentally stable. She attempted to reason with her. "Diana, I never tried to steal Jim from Trixie. I was interested in him, as he was interested in me. At the time, I asked him if he was dating anyone, and he told that he wasn't. I can respect that he moved on to a relationship, but when we were dancing and skating together, he was completely unattached."
"Those are lies!" Diana flipped her hair.
"Why do you have such a problem with me?" Dot questioned. "Jim willingly danced with me. It wasn't as if I was holding a gun to his head."
For a moment, Diana seemed confused, but then she sneered. "Whatever, Dot. I'm not going to stand here and listen to your logic. I'm going to tell everyone at Jixemitri that you're here. They hate you so much for daring to be pretty and talented and catching Jim's attention, that they'll ignore his obvious interest in you, slutshame you, and then burn you at the stake. And don't bother trying to take Mart away from me- Mart doesn't appreciate it when his dates go to the bathroom to barf up their dinners, darling." With that, Diana flounced off.
Dot moved along, but her good mood was darkened by her run-ins with the unfriendly Bob-Whites of the Glen and their misogynistic and ableist comments. She didn't understand why Mart and Diana were so disdainful of her- she had done nothing to hurt either of them. She thought about how convinced they were that she was going to steal Jim Frayne away from Trixie Belden- that was preposterous. Dot had enough integrity not to intrude on someone else's romantic endeavors, and besides, no one could "steal" someone else's significant other. The significant other went away willingly, but most often, it was the interloper who was blamed.
But Dot was no interloper. When the Bob-Whites were in Des Moines, Jim and Trixie hadn't been together; Jim had told her so. Dot dancing with Jim shouldn't have been an issue, but the Bob-Whites and these "Jixemitri" people Diana had mentioned appeared insistent on blowing the events out of proportion and making it into a problem.
But Dot couldn't imagine why they would bother. What was the big deal about a single girl dancing with a single guy?
Dot was so lost in her own musings that she almost crashed into Honey Wheeler.
"I'm terribly sorry!" Dot exclaimed, weaving out of the way.
Honey sniffed. "Well, you're terrible, at any rate."
Disarmed by this sudden attack, Dot was too shocked to respond.
"I can introduce you to some unattached men around Sleepyside," Honey offered abruptly.
"Thanks, but no thanks," Dot replied warily. "I'm not looking for a boyfriend at the moment."
"Are you chasing after Jim again?" Honey demanded. "You can never have him. He's with Trixie, and the writers at Jixemitri would never, ever attempt to branch out and write either of them with someone else! That would be worse than writing slash fic!"
"I didn't ever need to 'chase him,'" Dot told her coldly. "What you, your friends, and those people at Jix-whatever seem to forget is that Jim was unattached to Trixie at that point, and he could have refused to dance or skate with me, but he didn't. He chose to hang out with me instead of Trixie. Deal with it. And how come Ned isn't ever blamed for hanging around Trixie? That's a bit of a double standard, don't you think? The girl is slutshamed for being interested in an unattached guy, but the guy who's interested in an unattached girl gets off scott-free."
Honey waved a hand dismissively. "No one at Jixemitri will bother to write stories about you if you don't have a love interest. As far as they're concerned, single women who aren't totally focused on romance are like bisexuals: neither exist. Jix writers don't want to write boring stuff about friendship or mysteries. They're too busy unhealthily obsessing over fictional teenagers' love lives and pairing fifteen-year old Trixie with eighteen-year-old Jim."
Dot shook her head. "It seems like I can't win here. I'm damned if I'm interested in a guy, and I'm damned if I'm not. But I'd rather have the latter. After the 'welcome' I just received, I don't think I want people at Jix to write stories demonizing and slutshaming me for daring to dance with a single, unattached male. I also find it odd that Jix writers need to put a female character such as myself down to prop up another female character such as Trixie. It seems anti-feminist."
Honey was examining her nails. "People at Jix don't care about feminism. If they did, they wouldn't write stories that remove all of Trixie's independence and emotional capability and use the 'damsel in distress' cliche as an excuse to hook Trixie up with Jim." She nodded at Dot's shirt. "What does that mean?"
Dot glanced down at her outfit. Converse, jeans, and a black shirt that read in large white lettering, "Not saints, not sluts, just women."
"It's a feminist message constructed to eliminate that Madonna-whore complex," Dot explained. "The Madonna-whore complex is the idea that women are either pure perfect virgins, or total whores with no self-respect, with nothing in between. Black and white with no gray area, if you will. I don't think that it's right that a woman's value is based upon her virginity, so I'm wearing this shirt in protest. Women are just people. They can't be put into simplistic boxes with rigid labels. It's unfair, because no one would shame a guy for daring to be sexual."
"That's probably because you're a whore yourself," Honey jeered. "Everyone at Jixemitri says so."
Dot was tempted to try out a few of her kickboxing moves on this rude girl, or at least show off her judo skills. But Dot did the right thing and moved on. She wasn't going to be like certain fanfiction writers at who wasted their time slutshaming and villainizing a female character who had no dialogue and appeared in a single book printed about fifty years ago of out thirty-nine books overall, for the sake of pushing down a young woman in order to promote a romantic pairing between fictional teenagers.
She hadn't traveled very far when a heavy and hard object rammed into her shoulder blade, knocking off-balnce and throwing her off the bike. Startled and stunned, she lay sprawled in the dirt for a moment, her shoulder throbbing with pain.
"Good shot, Bobby!" She heard a male voice exclaim.
Temper rising with the aching in her shoulder, Dot stood and examined herself. Her awesome feminist shirt was ruined, the text splattered with bright blue paint. She raised her eyes to find two other people nearby: a tall, dark-haired teen, and a young blonde boy who was holding a paintball gun.
"I shot you!" The young blonde child crowed gleefully. "My parents and siblings condone this, because you're a stupid ho who tried to steal Jim from Trixie!"
Dot had to struggle to quell her fury. She wanted to throttle this little brat, but she reminded herself that he was practically brainwashed, having been thoroughly indoctrinated with misogynistic ideas by his family and popular Jixemitri fanfics.
"What is going on?" Her words were slightly muffled by her clenched jaw, and she turned to the teen, who she now remembered as Brian Belden.
"You mess with my sister, you mess with me, Dot." His tone might have been intended to be menacing, but he failed in that regard.
"I didn't 'steal' Jim. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: he danced with me of his own free will. I didn't force him to do anything, so you and those Jix writers can stop acting as though I did. What's more is that Jim and Trixie weren't together at that point, so I couldn't 'steal' him even if I wanted to, because he didn't 'belong' to anyone, and I never would've thought that sixteen-year-old junior Jim would be interested in a thirteen-year-old eighth grader. That's more than a little weird, especially now that he's a senior in high school and she's a freshman."
He crossed his arms over his chest. "You deserve a lot more than a paintball to your overly-endowed chest, Dot Murray. Your romantic pursuit of Jim suggests rampant promiscuity, and a promiscuous woman is obviously a sign of pathological complications."
"I can't help my chest size, and I'm not sorry if I'm bigger than your sister, but it's weird and creepy than you notice your sister's breasts. And I'm not promiscuous. I've never even had a regular date, let alone a boyfriend," Dot stated as calmly as she could. "But if I were a man, would promiscuity still indicate mental problems?"
Brian dug out a psychology textbook- from where, she didn't want to know.
"Dot Murray, you're nothing but a histrionic, narcissistic, schizoid who is delusional and relies on exhibitionistic venues to gain popularity and acceptance. You're not welcome in Sleepyside. No one here likes you, especially not the Jix writers, who have to imagine you as promiscuous and totally unlikeable in order to reassure themselves that the Jim/Trixie pairing is DA BESTEST PAIRING EVAR!111. They also make sure to include in fanfic that you wear skimpy bikinis and Trixie wears modest one-pieces. Because you should be ashamed to exhibit the body you spend countless hours training and working out for, and everyone knows that all girls who wears bikinis are incorrigable sluts."
"God, you're simplistic," Dot gritted out. She wanted nothing more than to break out her judo skills on this smug misogynist, but she knew the importance of self-control.
"What do you expect?" Brian shrugged. "This is Jixemitri. Everything is black and white here. Jim is the cat's meow. Trixie is an angelic figure. There are no fanfics about Dan, because no one cares about a character who has an interesting past loaded with moral conflicts but doesn't have a solid love interest."
"What about the themes of friendship and mystery from the books?" Dot queried, her irritation evident.
Brian chortled. "Who wants friendship and exciting mysteries when you can write shallow romance about high school students and future fics in which Trixie has given up her dreams to be Jim's barefoot, pregnant housewife, in which her entire value is focused on what sort of mother she is?"
"I don't know," Dot replied. "Feminists of all or any kind?"
Laughter consumed Brian. "Dot, if there were any feminists at Jixemitri, don't you think that my own mother would be something other than a housewife and Mrs. Wheeler and Mrs. Lynch would be something more than rich women who follow around their husbands? Don't you think Trixie would be able to fight for herself instead of always needing rescuing by Jim? And wouldn't you be treated better, rather than slutshamed and demonized solely based on your gender? Feminists at Jixemitri! That's a good one!"
Dot left him behind, rolling in the middle of the road, laughing and clutching at his sides. Bobby had gone off elsewhere. Dot didn't particularly care where.
She was hoping to escape these misogynistic, delusional freaks, but unfortunately, she ran into the troublesome couple themselves: Jim and Trixie.
"Oh, Jim," Trixie was saying as she swooned. "I'll totally give up my dreams of a career and any independent areas of my life so you and I can have an utterly unhealthy and dependent romance, just like Bella and Edward!"
"And you can be reduced to the damsel in distress so I can always save the day and rescue you and look really cool doing so, despite the books being called, 'Trixie Belden', and sometimes allowing you to rescue yourself instead of constantly needing a big, strong, tough guy!" Jim enthused. "I know that it looks like your fanfic portrayal is that of an incompetent weakling, but Jix authors think this is romantic, so who cares?"
Sickened by this chauvinistic and maudlin display, Dot tried to leave quietly, but Trixie spotted her.
"Dot Murray!" Trixie screeched, her mass of dishwater blonde curls, almost a white girl afro, nearly standing on end. "I irrationally hate you in fanfic despite admitting to liking your personality in the books. But we need TEH DRAMA!111 of it all, so Jix authors write us to totally hate you and ignore the Bob-White policy of being nice to people!"
"Whatever," Dot returned, searching for a way to escape from these weirdos. She hoped she never encountered these Jixemitri people. They sounded thoroughly unpleasant and hostile.
But Trixie wasn't satisfied. "Dot, I am appalled by your brutal attack on my sexless and chemistry-less lovelife. I, the great goddess of Sleepyside, overlooked your trashy feminist clothes, and permitted you into my town. You respond with snide attacks and catty remarks and insults. I can assure you my boyfriend is not interested in girls who have the morals and ethics of an alley cat. He likes spunky blondes, not cheap tarts such as yourself."
"There's nothing 'spunky' about you," Dot snapped, her impatience overwhelming her. "You're nothing more than the pathetic type of girl who lets her boyfriend order her around." She pointed at Trixie's bracelet, which had Jim's name etched into the metal. "Nice bracelet. With his name and everything, it looks like he's claiming you as a piece of his property. I'm not cheap, Trixie- you are. You can be swayed with a promise and a bracelet that marks you as a man's possession instead of his equal. And it's just sad that you're completely satisfied with being Jim's inferior. He coddles you and patronizes you like you're a spoiled child."
Trixie clutched at Jim's arm. "Jim, even though I provoked Dot and I deserve whatever she returns to me, I can't defend myself from Dot's wrath, not even from a verbal riposte, the ire of which I've earned. Protect me, my white knight, with your manly and masculine, muscled arms!" She buried her face in Jim's supple chest, sobbing from fear.
Jim shook his finger at Dot. "Play nice, Dot. There are some things a lady just doesn't do. There's a reason Trixie went home with the bracelet, and you didn't."
That was it. Dot was done with these horrible people and their misogynistic double standards.
"First of all," Dot began coolly, her tone steady and normal in volume, "don't condescend to me about what 'a lady' does. As a wealthy, white, Protestant male, you probably feel entitled to lecture everyone, but you don't have much of a right to judge. You know nothing about how women must cope with misogyny on a daily basis, and you encourage chauvinism, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from commenting. Second of all, I would never stand for a chauvinistic gift with my boyfriend's name on it that marked me as a mere possession of his, so I'm glad not to have that asinine bracelet. If he were to give me a present, I would hope that he would know me well enough to understand my tastes and social views." Dot looked at Trixie. "But I know that girls like you and those Jix authors are naive enough to mistake chauvinism for romance."
"You stop right there -" Jim tried to interrupted, but Dot held up a hand.
"I'm not finished." She looked at Jim with a steely gaze. "I'm happy that you didn't give me that bracelet, Jim. The one thing I do regret is that I wasted my time on a priggish chauvinist such as yourself, even if it only was for a few hours. I see now that I'm worth twelve of you and a dozen more of Trixie. I believe in standing up for myself and fighting for myself- Trixie believes in running and hiding, and she always expects a man to protect her."
An ugly look descended onto Jim's features. "That's it! No one insults my Trixie and gets away with it! I'll pulverize you, you little- "
Dot moved quickly and managed to throw the first punch. There was a flurry of motion, but with her black belt in Judo, Dot was able to bring Jim to the ground, unconscious, in a matter of minutes. Once finished, she put her hands on her knees, catching her breath.
"Noooooooo!" Trixie wailed, dashing over and cradling Jim's bloodied face in her hands. "My one true love as a teenager!" She sobbed. She whirled and gave Dot's golden blonde hair a vicious yank. But with little effort, Dot put her kickboxing skills to good use, and left Trixie in the dirt alongside Jim.
Her head held high, Dot mounted her bike and pedaled to a forest trail, entering the woods. After biking for a little while, her attention consumed by alternating between scolding herself for losing her temper and congratulating herself for being assertive, Dot was dismayed to discover that she was lost.
Luckily for her, a handsome teenage boy with dark hair, dressed in all black and riding a large chestnut brown horse, happened upon her.
"Can I help you?" He asked with a friendly smile. He had gray eyes that initially appeared black.
"I'm kind of lost," Dot admitted.
"I'm Dan, and I know my way around here."
Dot chuckled. "My name is Dot Murray."
Dan arched an eyebrow. "The Dot Murray? You have some nerve to show up here. The Jixemitri authors hate you, and their representations of you convey various misogynistic undertones."
"So I've heard." Dot eyed him warily. "The other Bob-Whites told me as much."
"Oh, those weren't actually the other Bob-Whites," Dan said. "Glen Road is Jixemitri terriorty. Those people were fanfiction depictions of the Bob-Whites, which explains why they were totally out of character and shared no resemblance to their book counterparts."
"But why haven't you changed?" Dot asked, sizing him up.
"Because I live off Glen Road, not on it, and Jix fanfic has no use for me beyond being a living prop. The Jix authors don't bother giving me a personality, and neither did the book authors, so there's nothing to change," Dan explained. "Hey, you're the amazing skater, right?"
"Yes," Dot responded, wondering if she made the right choice confirm his compliment.
"Want to hit the rink in White Plains together? None of the Bob-Whites can ever keep up with me."
"I'd like that," Dot said, grateful to find an ally at long last.
And the two characters, one much-maligned and the other largely ignored, shook hands and became good friends from that point onward.
Note about Jixemitri:
Hey Jix people, and fans of Jix, here's the thing. Slutshaming, misogyny, and chauvinism are not okay. It's not okay for you to rewrite Dot as promiscuous and "easy" so you can point fingers and laugh about what a whore she is. Trixie Belden and all of the characters may be fiction, but prejudices against women unfortunately remain very, very real, no thanks to individuals who actively promote those ideas through their writing. There are fics on this site that demonize Dot to promote the Jim/ Trixie pairing. There are fics on this site that feature Trixie and Diana nearly being raped but they're blamed because they were wearing "revealing" clothing and therefore "asking for it."
Is it morally wrong of me to point fingers at Jixemitri? Maybe. But is their misogyny also wrong, and does it undermine their writing? Is it wrong of me to correct that wrong by bashing their site? I don't know.
But are misogyny and slutshaming archaic and fundamentally hypocritical ideas that should be done away with? IMHO, yes. I think that more people need to be educated about misogyny and slutshaming and how it's never acceptable to engage in either, not even toward characters you don't like.
My point is that I'm not bashing Jixemitri just for the LOLs. I'm taking a stand for women and objecting to the idea that women who are openly sexual deserve to be punished and condemned. A woman's sexuality shouldn't be scorned by those around her, it should be accepted, as a male's would be.
Check out the thread titled "Welcome Dot!", which be found in the "Humor" and "Fun Stuff" categories at Jixemitri. As in, rewriting a character to be bitchy and promiscuous so they can mock her for daring to be sexual and standing up for herself in the face of adversity is "fun" and "humorous" to them. I have never been more glad not to be a part of Jix, let me tell you.
Address (Words are bolded, typography is italic): jixemitri-dot-net-fowardslash-funstuff-fowardslash-humor-fowardslash-welcome-understrike-dot-dot-H-T-M-L
More about Dot:
Really, the true reason Dot is bashed and trashed is because Jim was flirting with her. Jim flirting with another girl instead of Trixie? She must be an evil jealous whore! Never mind that she seems nice and she doesn't have a single line of dialogue, she's a horrible person!
This happens often in fandom. A character who interrupts a potential relationship of two other characters is frequently demonized. In the Harry Potter fanfiction section, both Ron and Ginny are bashed for "ruining" the Harry/Hermione ship.
One of my issues with the Dot-bashing is the absence of Ned-bashing. If Dot is demonized for being interested in Jim, shouldn't Ned also be demonized for being interested in Trixie?
Oddly, Ned very rarely ever is reduced to a promiscuous malcontent as Dot is. And that's why I call misogyny on Dot-bashing: a teen girl with a crush is villainized and slutshamed, but a teen boy with a crush gets a free pass.
"But your other stories embrace a different side of the characters, so that means you HAVE to welcome ALL portrayals of characters in the fandom, even the villainized Dot!"
My issue with villainized!Dot is that she is usually only villainized for the sake of promoting the Jim/Trixie pairing. And as you can see from the stories on this site, she is rewritten to be mockingly "loose" and "easy" with the intention of people laughing at a sexually-aware woman and scorning her lack of discretion. Dot is rewritten to be a "whore" for usually one reason only: to promote the virginal "madonna" figure, usually Trixie. In order to elevate Trixie to angelic status, Dot must be demonized; that seems to be the modus operandi of many Trixie Belden fanfiction authors out there.
I also don't like the manner in which Dot is demonized. Dot is primarily villainzed as overtly sexual. Apparently, a sexually-aware young woman is the worst thing ever to Jixemitri authors. We are expected to scorn an openly sexual young woman, as the Bob-Whites often do in fanfic. She doesn't disguise her interest in boys, and she wears a skimpy bikini? What a slut!
When Dot is a villain, she is nearly always rewritten to be a vampy "tramp" who steals other girls' boyfriends. (Never mind that you can't "steal" anyone's significant other away from them.) I wouldn't mind villain!Dot so much if she were a traitor who was secretly working as an agent for North Korea, or if she were the leader of a vicious cult that promoted human sacrifice. But no, we can tell that Dot is the bad guy because she goes after Jim. Never mind that Jim flirted with her as well in the book, and he and Trixie weren't together at that point.
But when she's villainized in fics, Dot is shown to be a bad person through her sexuality. The writers let us know that Dot is the most evil person ever by recreating Dot as sexually-aware: they portray her as corrupt and "fake" for being flirtatious. Fic!Dot chases boys = incorrigible, evil, horrible, filthy whore.
And that sort of misogyny, which involves demonizing sexually-aware women, and the slutshaming that accompanies it, is never okay. EVER. I don't care how much you dislike a certain fictional female character. Demonizing that female character in order to promote another female character, or another pairing, be it het or slash, is unacceptable. No exceptions.
Slutshaming, chauvinism and misogyny are harmful and damaging ideas that are still very much in existence today. Jixemitri and other Trixie Belden sites that bash Dot for her sexuality would do well to stop promoting them.
Peace and joy.