Male Roles Vs. Female Roles in Fiction: Discussion/Analysis/Troperwank:

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551 chihuahua017th Oct 2013 07:24:03 AM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
The thing is, Khan kills way more innocent people than Kirk, so I can't really feel sympathy for the former. Sure, he has his people to protect, but they're geocidal anyways.

edited 17th Oct '13 7:24:30 AM by chihuahua0

552 TobiasDrake17th Oct 2013 11:00:02 AM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
I can relate to Khan. I can't sympathize with him.

Would I have done the same things he did, in his shoes? If it was the people I loved, would I lash out at whoever I felt was responsible for their deaths? Yeah, probably. And I would be The Asshole for doing so, because context, and also blind rage. Khan had blind rage. He killed countless people whose sole connection was being with Starfleet. The point at which he deliberately pilots a crashing starship into Starfleet HQ to murder as many of their people as possible is the point where even the slightest hint of sympathy for him dies. He is lashing out blindly to make everyone else suffer so he won't have to, and that is - while human - complete and utter murderous asshole behavior. Even if you take the "genocidal" part out of the equation, Khan is a mass murderer.

edited 17th Oct '13 11:02:49 AM by TobiasDrake

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553 DeMarquis18th Oct 2013 05:04:48 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Some of you may find this article of interest It's by Suzzanne Rivecca reviewing the writing of Mary Gaitskill. According to SR: "

Mary Gaitskill is the consummate chronicler of the cock-block, and to enact this dynamic she enlists no overbearing chaperone, no pepper spray, no kicks to the groin. Her characters block cocks with their minds. And it’s a very specific kind of mind, what yogis would call “monkey-mind”: capricious, fluttering, analytical, too hypervigilant to revel in the unadulterated sensual moment. Even when a woman reaches climax in a Mary Gaitskill scenario, even when she is, at her own behest, tied up and cuffed and degraded, she does not slip into the sweet oblivion of surrender. In the throes of orgasm, she is still ambivalent, still at war, still parsing the ludicrousness of it all in her head. She is still, in short, inescapably herself. The sex is not about the man, not at all. It is about a conversation she is having with herself. And it encompasses her entire history."

Rivera is esp amused by what she sees as a typical male reviewer reaction to this kind of writing, which she sees as confused and reactionary. "They feel squeamish and violated and desperate to reimpose a semblance of order and moral authority on their ransacked worlds."

Apparently, this has generated some controversy. Apparently even Mary Gaitskill herself has some reservations. Here's a article about the same review.

Are men justified in reacting this way to Gaitskills writing? Is Rivera over-reacting?
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
554 Jetyl18th Oct 2013 11:15:21 PM from my apartment , Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
The Tragic Clown
[up] okay, I just finished reading the article, and I must say I am confused. I'm not sure what the point of it was. I'm not sure Mary Gaitskill's books are about aside from the fact that they have sex scenes (an instant turn off of interest for me) and that they apparently that they are very bleak or something.

I'm not sure what Suzanne Rivecca is trying to get at, but I can tell she's defiantly very passionate about it and is probably very biased. and when I see something I don't know/care about and see something that feels very biased, my immediate opinion tends to against them, cause I doubt I'm seeing the whole picture. So I don't really trust any "factual" thing she says, and when she starts speaking in broad stokes, I start getting annoyed. Like in the middle where she started going on about the apartment bias of critics to always refer to works by female writers as analytical and pay very high attention to detail, which I don't know is a thing and highly doubt is even true.

and again, I don't really trust what Rivecca says about Gaitskill's work, or even what she says Gaitskill's critics say, but if I were to take her article on face value there is one part of it I think needs mentioning,

Joel embodies the stark compartmentalization common in Gaitskill’s men: they believe that females need saving, but only if those females are superhumanly noncomplicit in their own oppression; at the same time, they are haunted by the uneasy hunch that they, as males, are too ineffectual to be true saviors. And since the women in Gaitskill’s world are anything but damsels in distress—they are just as vexing, prickly, and self-contradicting as they are doe-eyed and pathetic—their physical and emotional vulnerability is both gratifying and maddening to their male partners, who cannot for the life of them reconcile the inconsistencies.

The men in Gaitskill’s fiction are famously intolerant of ambiguity. They eschew inner reflection as self-indulgent; consequently, they explode into irrational rages and sabotage themselves from want of self-knowledge. The women, on the other hand, can’t stop analyzing, interpreting, dissecting themselves and everyone else with incisive, manic eloquence. And their men lumber away for dear life in the wake of it, roaring like tortured grizzlies. “I’m a very simple person,” a hounded man exclaims in “The Dentist,” backed into a corner by his date’s psychological probing. “I’m bland and I have a low level of emotional vibrancy and I like it that way!”

if this description of Gaitskill's work is true, then I'd say her work is sexist to a degree. if EVERY man in all of her works all this miserable pathetic terrible fuck-up that prefers to live in ignorance and have rather sexist views of women, I'd probably have to call into question Ms. Gaitskill's view of men.
I'm afraid I can't explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?
If Gaitskill makes distinct personalities based solely on a characters sex than yes, that would be sexist. If it puts people in two categories to which they always conform, it makes a discrimination (meaning a differentiation) between the two sexes. Even if it's not done in a malicious way it's a form of othering.
556 Gabrael20th Oct 2013 05:18:19 PM from My musings , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
I just finished a movie with my son that surprised me with just how well balanced and composed the characters were: A Monster in Paris.

Two couples make up the heroes. The men are introduced first, which gave me the impression they were going to be the sole focus. Not so. Both women are given full agency and are allowed just as much range as the men. In fact, the men are introduced by being best friends dealing with one's insecurity in asking his love interest out. Never is it treated as a joke. Rather the two constantly encourage and empower each other through practical advice and sincere friendship.

Its not an Oscar contender and the villain is pretty cookie cutter Gaston like. But the music is fun, the story is very economical, and it was refreshing to see characters that were actually an awesome team and nonconventional, especially since this is geared to children.

edited 20th Oct '13 5:19:37 PM by Gabrael

"Psssh. Even if you could catch a miracle on a picture any person would probably delete it to make space for more porn." - Aszur
557 joeyjojo20th Oct 2013 05:26:34 PM from South Sydney: go the bunnies!
Happy New Year!
Sounds like a remarkably adult kids films. Not objectionable but as in it's characters are adults and written as mature people with 'grown up' goals and drives.

edited 20th Oct '13 5:26:41 PM by joeyjojo

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558 Gabrael20th Oct 2013 07:04:42 PM from My musings , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
My son found it enjoyable and was just as excited to cheer for the team as he was to sing along.

I think the reason why kids movies in particular are so hit or miss is that people forget just how mature kids are. Its not that they aren't capable of understanding complex themes or what not. Its that they filter it differently from adults. Kids in general are really good about spotting inconsistencies and bullshit, even if they don't get why it bothers them.

The children in the horror movie Mama were very well done examples to me of a fair depiction of a child's ability to handle heavy subjects. Guillermo Del Toro is pretty good about that. (Pan's Labyrinth is solid.)

Most Studio Gibli works are also in the same vein in both how they depict children as well asmaking strong and developed characters of all genders and roles.

I don't know how many times I have used book or movie characters as examples of good and bad behavior simply because they are so accessible to how children think.

edited 20th Oct '13 7:06:33 PM by Gabrael

"Psssh. Even if you could catch a miracle on a picture any person would probably delete it to make space for more porn." - Aszur
559 GAP17th Mar 2014 01:43:34 AM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
560 Euodiachloris17th Mar 2014 08:26:45 PM , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
...My initial thoughts were simple: "my skin itches: hello, hives".
561 Novis6th Apr 2014 03:37:15 PM from Atop my Spire. , Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Kyros must fall.
A while ago I had the thought that female characters tend to be declared good based more on their character traits while male ones tend to be declared good based more on their arc. Does ny one think that's accurate or am i just making things up based on a few examples?

edited 6th Apr '14 3:37:59 PM by Novis

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563 Novis6th Apr 2014 08:54:15 PM from Atop my Spire. , Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Kyros must fall.
[up] I planned on mentioning that, but I forgot to, thanks for linking it.
Tyrants don't always need laws.
564 ParadoxialStratagem26th Apr 2014 09:35:41 PM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Hiding
Our Good Is Greater Than Yours
First, somebody probably already mentioned this, but why is it that more often than not 100% of all generic Red Shirts tend to be male? I suspect it's because of the Men Are the Expendable Gender trope (which I quite frankly find to be offensive to say the least). I find that trope to be unfair to both genders because it implies that:

1. Women are incapable of fighting and thus shouldn't be involved in combat.

2. Men aren't worth keeping and are "disposable" all traits and actions set aside.

Second, as there ever been such a thing as a Dark Magical Guy?

edited 26th Apr '14 9:36:54 PM by ParadoxialStratagem

565 GAP26th Apr 2014 10:31:35 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Formerly G.G.
I only know of Fate from Negima but he isn't human or Shadow the Hedgehog also fits the trope despite being an anthropomorphic black hedgehog.
"Arcanist: Unleashes awesome power by combining black magic!"
It's also because of the Men Are Generic, Women Are Special trope. Most character are just envisioned male by default and this extends to Red Shirts. So most of them are male, because most of all characters (important or unimportant) are male. It's a result of the marginalization of women in media coupled with the men are expendable sentiment.

edited 27th Apr '14 4:18:15 AM by Antiteilchen

567 ParadoxialStratagem27th Apr 2014 08:18:16 AM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Hiding
Our Good Is Greater Than Yours
Like I said earlier, that tendency for generic; often times "disposable" people, to be male is not merely sexist against men for obvious reasons but discriminates against females as well. This trope is older than what some people may think, and it's funny how old world beliefs that seem "well-meaning" are actually quite vicious to all sides involved, not just one.

Find me a game where males and females can be both significant and insignificant equally, and I'll buy it next time I can afford anything.
568 Gabrael27th Apr 2014 11:43:28 AM from My musings , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
Well the first thing that popped into my head in regards to men and women being treated horrible equally is Dante's Inferno.

Both genders are reduced to base, mindless stereotypes in that one.

And I am a religious scholar who absolutely loved the Divine Comedy, but this game isn't it.
"Psssh. Even if you could catch a miracle on a picture any person would probably delete it to make space for more porn." - Aszur
Find me a game where males and females can be both significant and insignificant equally, and I'll buy it next time I can afford anything.
Well both the Mass Effect series and Skyrim let you play as either a female or male hero who saves the world and feature female and male mooks to mow down.
570 SaintDeltora27th Apr 2014 01:01:53 PM from The Land Of Corruption and Debauchery , Relationship Status: I'm just high on the world
The Mistress
[up]Isn't that pretty common amongst Western RP Gs? The first part, I mean.

edited 27th Apr '14 1:02:15 PM by SaintDeltora

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Although the Imperial Legion has surprisingly few female legionnaires in the ranks, despite canonically not restricting recruitment to men (the resident Colonel Badass you deal with most of the time is a woman). There are mods out there to correct that.

What are your thoughts on this. A (minor) female character with a dark backstory who is pretty badass and willing to kill to further her own interests, but her character motivations basically boil down to exiting the main storyline as quickly as possible and getting out alive with her boyfriend (who is a major character, kind of).
573 Nettacki29th Apr 2014 06:38:52 PM from Connected to my tube amp
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In theory, I personally wouldn't mind that happening in a story, though admittedly I'd like to see it in action (if it ever happens) before I can give a more practical assessment.

On a somewhat related note, with regards to the media representation of both genders, what do you think the role of media should really be? Should it be just something that entertains us, and anything related to morality should be seen as a reflection of the person making it rather than a statement about what society should be? Or should it be created to be dictating morality from the creator to the consumer and the consumer should follow it?
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[up] It's actually a real work. I'm talking about Emily/Maya Hartwell from the Canadian series Continuum. Admittedly she takes a fairly proactive route towards securing safety for herself and her boyfriend (including demolishing his time-clone's bodyguards, assaulting said time-clone, and threatening him with further bodily harm if he does anything bad... its a long story). I was wondering where she stood, because while she's pretty badass, she's basically just an Action Girlfriend with a dark past.

Of course, she's just the fifth most important female character on the show.

And that's a good question. While representation does matter, it does so on an aggregate level. Works should still reflect reality, but then reality (at least in the popular settings of NY and LA) is not "100% White Guys". Take Ms. Marvel, for example, which very much reflects reality (specifically, that of its New Jersey raised Pakistani immigrant Muslim editor Sana Amanat) in a way that, since so much media is focused around white dudes, is rarely seen.
575 Nettacki29th Apr 2014 10:02:56 PM from Connected to my tube amp
Mah Headphones
I can understand that.

Someone told me something about the role of media as a whole. They think that the media was not created to dictate morality, that the media is a collection of thoughts and ideas from different people, both good and bad, and every piece of it is someone else's point of view. Morality should be formed by your own point of view, not by the media. The different facets of the media should be viewed as nothing more then someone else's slice of life, not definitive truth. Maybe they're right. Maybe they're wrong. It's whatever you make of it.

What do you think about this particular viewpoint? I mean, you seem to agree that representation is merely a part of a greater whole (at least, I think that's what you mean when you said "aggregate") and that media reflects reality, so does this viewpoint have merit?
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