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Total posts: [63]
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What to do (alt titles crowner 3/12/12): Acceptable Feminine Goals get usage counts

 1 ccoa, Sat, 19th Feb '11 6:25:44 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
There seems to be a trope here, but the description and examples (both on and off the page) seem to come off as very negative. Also, despite being a fairly new trope, it is already collecting natter on the examples (or having the wicks wiped off other pages for being too negative or whiny).

I'm not positive how to fix it, though, other than cleaning and hoping it doesn't happen again. Do you guys see something I don't, perchance?

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 2 Deboss, Sat, 19th Feb '11 6:55:38 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
I'm inclined to nuke it. It's prime bitching bait. It's even got a paragraph on Unfortunate Implications in the description, that's never a good sign.
It is a valid trope, even these women (no matter the setting or how successful in their own right) are still portrayed as really wanting kids, a hubby and a home. However, I agree it needs a chainsaw taken to it to pare it down.
Aid the Paradox Archaeologists, meditate on the tropes used: Beyond The Star Empire Of The Otters Of Doom
 4 Madrugada, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:11:32 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
It really should simply be an index of the tropes that are about what is and isn't expected of women. (Although I think Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits might be a better name.) Minus the screed about how horrible it is that those tropes exist in the first place.

So, it would include
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses (You can't have a strong female character if she presents in a feminine style)
  • Female Success is Family (Female characters who are included in an action plot are usually related or connected in some way to one of the important male characters.)
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished (You can have your female characters do non-feminine things, but you can't make them less pretty as a result of the things they do.)
  • Family Versus Career (A female character cannot have both a career and a family; she must choose to give one up. It's going to be family that wins if you want her to be a "good" character.)
  • Career Versus Man (Same as above, only the choice is between getting the man and keeping her career. Also as above, choosing the man is almost a given.)
  • Feminine Women Can Cook (Not being able to cook is used as a joke, a Take That, or to indicate that the character is somehow unfeminine.)
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking (Every woman wants a baby as she approaches menopause, even if she never did before.)
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals (Self explanatory, really)
  • All Women Love Shoes (ditto)
  • Retail Therapy (If a woman is depressed, concerned about something, or worried, all it takes is a nice day of shopping to make her feel all better.)

edited 19th Feb '11 7:36:32 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 5 ccoa, Sat, 19th Feb '11 8:52:09 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
There does seem to be a trope that isn't covered by those, the idea that "feminine" careers and goals (those that involve cooking, sewing, nurturing, cleaning, children, etc) are more acceptable for a female character than non-feminine careers. It needs to be less condemning about it, though, and a lot of the examples feel shoehorned (Inara and Cutty? Really?).

Otherwise, I like Mads' suggestion. Perhaps it needs to be example-less index/trope hybrid.

edited 19th Feb '11 8:53:33 AM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 6 Madrugada, Sat, 19th Feb '11 9:32:46 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
I'm not sure they're more acceptable — Wrench Wenches, Action Girls, I was going to dispute that somewhat, but I never really looked at the Always Female list with an eye toward how many of them are generally presented as "positive" descriptions before. You're right, ccoa, there aren't very many of them that don't also incorporate traditional domestic roles... That's somewhat depressing.

edited 19th Feb '11 9:33:39 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 7 shimaspawn, Sat, 19th Feb '11 10:35:55 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
It really is. It's one of those things in media where it seems like the only thing that the writers care about is shoving traditional gender roles down our throats.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
"Writers are often hesitant to present a female character with real career ambition, which is usually associated with ball-busting, suit-wearing (often Straw Feminist) executive women." - The article

... I got the impression that it was the other way around.

 9 Madrugada, Sat, 19th Feb '11 11:06:14 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Real Women Never Wear Dresses isn't about the role —it's about the costume. It's a statement that putting a strong, active, independent female character in a dress tends to automatically weaken her.

edited 19th Feb '11 11:06:43 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 10 ccoa, Sat, 19th Feb '11 11:31:15 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
If we do end up keeping the trope, it does need a note about how this can be a sign of a three-dimensional character and not (just?) gender stereotyping. Real women, even Action Girls and Wrench Wenchs can have interests outside kicking ass or fixing machines, and it's not unbelievable for those interests to be things like baking or sewing. Similar to Real Women Never Wear Dresses, a strong female character isn't any less strong if her ambition is to be a cook or pediatrician.

The problem is author intent - did they give her the trait because it feminizes her, because it's socially acceptable, or because they thought it added to the character? We just don't know.

edited 19th Feb '11 11:32:04 AM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
No, it's definitely about the role.

Real Women Never Wear Dresses is the complaint that having a woman doing anything at all that is traditionally feminine is anti-feminist. Like, for example, wearing dresses.

But I agree that Acceptable Feminine Goals does seem to be a trope; the name is definitely better for an index though.

How about we rename the trope and use Acceptable Feminine Goals for the index?

EDIT: And yeah, I agree this is one of those tropes that's only a problem in aggregate.

It's no problem if one writer wants to give one female character a feminine job. The problem is when all writers give all female characters feminine jobs.

edited 19th Feb '11 11:37:55 AM by BlackHumor

I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
People who want to believe there are unfortunate implications will find them anywhere. I'm sure any job could be made out to be an 'acceptable feminine goal' — the Prime Minister looks after people as part of his/her job, estate agents have to know about houses, and businesspeople have to run a bunch of people below them. All ridiculous explanations for why these jobs are too traditionally feminine for an 'independent' female character, but you get the point.

The only way to avoid that is to make it no-examples or an index. That way it isn't necessary to decide what does and does not make an example.

edited 19th Feb '11 1:14:06 PM by halfmillennium

 
 13 nrjxll, Sat, 19th Feb '11 2:32:49 PM Relationship Status: Not war
[up]One vote for making it an index.

 14 ccoa, Sun, 27th Feb '11 4:18:03 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Bumping this. Should we run a crowner?

Seems the options are:

  1. Make an index only.
  2. Split into an index and a more objective trope (possibly example-less).
  3. Make an index/trope hybrid (possibly example-less).

All of those with a possible rename.

edited 27th Feb '11 4:18:48 PM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 15 peccantis, Tue, 1st Mar '11 4:19:56 AM Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Support making into an index.
before the darkness arrives
 16 Alrune, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 1:31:36 AM from Your Bed
Swirl Swirl Red Whirl
I also think making this an hybrid index/trope would be appropriate but no examples indeed.

edited 2nd Mar '11 2:21:16 AM by Alrune

 17 ccoa, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 8:41:37 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Crowner's up.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 18 Madrugada, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 10:33:59 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
And the crowner is hooked.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Maybe its just me, but I think the Vasquez Always Dies trope should be on the index. (You can't have an unfeminine Action Girl live through the movie, because No Guy Wants an Amazon.)
 
"Real Women Never Wear Dresses isn't about the role —it's about the costume. It's a statement that putting a strong, active, independent female character in a dress tends to automatically weaken her." - Madrugada

If that's the case, it's severely misused.

 21 Andrew J, Thu, 10th Mar '11 2:52:27 PM from Washington, DC
That Young Knockout Kid
Yeah, the actual definition isn't nearly that narrow.

The Laconic entry reads: "Femininity is weakness."
We claim the land for the highlord, God bless the land and the hiiighlooord!
 22 ccoa, Thu, 10th Mar '11 3:01:33 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
It's looking like making the page an index is in the lead. I'll give it a couple more days to see if anything changes, though.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
Maybe we should make a separate Trope Repair thread for Real Women Never Wear Dresses. Last I checked, it wasn't a trope at all, but a screed about feminism precluding traditional gender roles or some such.

 24 shimaspawn, Fri, 11th Mar '11 3:31:55 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Real Women Never Wear Dresses is a trope. When you take a female character who normally wears pants and put her in a dress, she suddenly goes from Action Girl to a Distressed Damsel. Windwaker has a good examples with Tetra becoming Zelda.

edited 11th Mar '11 3:33:24 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
If Real Women Never Wear Dresses is meant to be specifically about dresses and not about more "feminine"/passive roles for female characters, then its description is badly written. It seems to talk about gender roles in general, and only touches on dresses in the last couple of (short) paragraphs.

Also, the potholes to it throughout the wiki are almost always along the lines of "the fandom hates Alice for not being an Action Girl". In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen it used about clothing in particular.

edited 11th Mar '11 4:24:54 PM by DoktorvonEurotrash

It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird

Alternative Titles: Acceptable Feminine Goals
11th Mar '12 12:39:07 PM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
This page will become an index for tropes about what is and isn't expected of women.
Total posts: 63
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