Deconstructing Without Being Anvilicious:

Total posts: [19]
1 SandJosieph28th Sep 2011 11:10:03 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
Bigonkers! is Magic
Like if one were to deconstruct the Action Girl trope how would one go about that without making it come across as "This is how a girl would really do in Real Life if she tried to take on The Hero's role"? Which sounds unnecessarily harsh.
2 jagillette28th Sep 2011 11:15:28 AM from the middle of nowhere
Wimpy Mc Squishy
My advice: play up the comedy and the ridiculousness of the trope. Be a little less serious, and if you want to address the issue seriously, do it subtly.
3 MrAHR28th Sep 2011 11:19:46 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Don't have long speeches about it. Subtlety is key.
Treat it matter-of-factly. Since you're presumably going to be more realistic about the action girl trope, act realistic and not melodramatic.
5 SandJosieph28th Sep 2011 11:33:13 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
Bigonkers! is Magic
So deconstruct via showing an alternative to the norm?
since when is following logical conclusions anchivilous? and how can you deconstruct action girls? whats unrealistic about them? that they are girl heros? I dont get it. an action girl is just the female version of the badass.

you might be more deconstructing the rule of cool more than anything, since all badasses thrive on it.

just mho
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7 SandJosieph28th Sep 2011 01:29:27 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
Bigonkers! is Magic
Probably the only real way to deconstruct the action girl trope is if they are placed in a world where action girls cannot exist. Which leads to all sorts of Fridge Logic moments.
8 USAF71328th Sep 2011 04:03:13 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I always try for Show, Don't Tell. It's not the narrative's job to do the deconstructing, it's the characters' actions. The narrative is just for mood-setting.
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Why do all of SJ's threads have Unfortunate Implications lately? The only way I can interpret what you're trying to do is deconstruct the Action Girl trope by point out that girls can't be heroes? What?
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No, he (she?) just wants to be able to deconstruct the trope. As a fan of any deconstrution, I would say that Show, Don't Tell is the best way to go about it. Also, don't go out of your way to make things happen; let the consequences be a natural result of the action.
12 SandJosieph1st Oct 2011 01:40:55 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
Bigonkers! is Magic
[up][up]Which is an ironic thing to say as the hero of my story is a girl. And this is not the story in which I would deconstruct the Action Girl trope. In fact, I'd probably set up a deconstruction and slowly reconstruct it as the story goes.

[up]I'm a "he" and this thread wasn't specifically about the Action Girl trope. It was more about avoiding anvilicious deconstructions.

edited 1st Oct '11 1:54:27 AM by SandJosieph

13 MajorTom1st Oct 2011 07:50:15 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
play up the comedy and the ridiculousness of the trope.

But Action Girl is hardly a ridiculous trope. It'd be outright sexist to treat it that way.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
[up][up] Ah. Well, I still stand by Show, Don't Tell; following a logical conclusion won't come off Anvilicious unless you make your characters get on a soapbox decrying the original trope, or you don't make your story bend unnaturally to punish characters to whom the Deconstructed Trope applies.

edited 1st Oct '11 2:32:23 PM by tropetown

15 USAF7131st Oct 2011 02:45:13 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Action Girl as "a girl who is badass" is basically neutral. The extra connotation of "and badass means 'cannot be girly'" is fair game for deconstruction, though...
I am now known as Flyboy.
16 darkclaw1st Oct 2011 06:39:33 PM from Right behind you.
Legs of Justice
In terms of deconstructing Action Girl, you could just deconstruct the "Action" part.

For example, in Metal Gear Solid; Solid Snake is badass. But to become a major ass-kicker he went through a lot of trauma and ended up an Anti-Hero who finds it hard to enjoy people, but loves the fighting, violence and such... until later, when they start to reconstruct him as he realizes he can have friends and attachments and still be a badass, such as when he befriends Otacon but still saves the day in violent fashion.

As for deconstructing the "girl" part, I don't know how you could do it without Unfortunate Implications.

[up] As much as I hate gender roles, I think a lot of people (not all, but a lot) in North American society equate masculinity with badassery (and I'm using masculinity as gender-neutral term here, even though the terms "masculine" and "feminine" are outdated in my opinion since they are gender-neutral). Like, for example, who would the average North American believe to be an Action Girl:

  • The girl covered in bandages, somewhat scarred up and carrying guns and knives, as well as being really tall.


  • The girl who is short, with a Hollywood Thin build, who is reading a fashion magazine while getting her hair done.

Either could be an Action Girl, but the first leans more towards stereotypical ideals of masculinity in North America and the latter leans more towards North America's views of femininity (in my opinion). Who is more likely the Action Girl to the average North American?

They both are. And they're right behind you.

edited 1st Oct '11 6:44:57 PM by darkclaw

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If you're really going to deconstruct the Action Girl trope, put an Action Girl in a man's world, surrounded by He-Man Woman Hater male teammates, fighting against depraved men, and let the natural consequences of both situations play out.
19 SandJosieph1st Oct 2011 08:37:48 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
Bigonkers! is Magic
That could go two ways, both of them obvious depending on the girl's level of skill.
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Total posts: 19