Main Positive Discrimination Discussion

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06:14:07 PM Apr 23rd 2014
This seems really speculative and assumes too much about how Jeph plots out his storylines...I'm tempted to contact him directly and get his take. Also, it's not namespaced.

  • In Questionable Content, most female characters tend to have quirks (sometimes veering into severe psychological problems). Black female characters, by contrast, are far less weird, and thus tend to quietly vanish away when the author can't find anything funny about them. This is most clearly seen with the three library interns, who are white-and-quirky, Asian-and-zany, and black-boring-and-vanished. (Earlier examples are Meena, who had a dark sense of humor and relationship issues, but was otherwise well-adjusted, Bailey, whose only quirk is doing ecstasy occasionally, and Dr. Corrine, whose job as a therapist makes being normal her defining characteristic. The author seems reluctant to make black women as strange as his main cast.
10:41:41 PM Apr 23rd 2014
Doesn't he kinda hate TV Tropes? You could get an answer skewed by that if you go ask him.

And yeah, I think that's this entry is just straw-grasping.
11:53:09 AM Jun 7th 2012
edited by stardust_rain
Removing "TV Tropers seem to feel that if a villain is white, they're just a normal Big Bad, but that if a villain is any other race, the writers are treating that entire race as if it was on the Acceptable Ethnic Targets list." because Christ on a bike, no, check you godamned white fucking privilege.

Hollywood has a decades-long standing history of promoting racism and xenophobia, wilfully turning minorities and people of colour into stereotypes, evil caricatures and villains. Russophobia, Sinophobia, Islamophobia still run rampant in every medium and form. It's not just that piece of work portraying Scary Black Man and Yellow Peril that makes it problematic, it's the accumulated history of entertainment riding on its back. One of the reasons this trope is so prevalent is because creators, writers, showrunners, etc., are well aware of negative portrayals of PO Cs and are going ass-over-elbows to avoid it. It's not the best way to go about things, but with racial history the way it is, it's better than Jive-talking black people breaking into your house, or Engrish-speaking Chinese looking to take over the world.
03:43:49 AM Jun 18th 2012
I think every evil white Hollywood writer should check their privilege. People top off and think they can ride it for few extra miles, but then they wind up running out of it on some back alley somewhere.
01:13:40 AM Aug 3rd 2012
Can I point out the irony of assuming whoever added that is white?
01:59:00 AM Sep 6th 2012
"check you godamned white fucking privilege."

Oh shut the hell up.
10:33:24 PM Apr 23rd 2014
06:08:30 PM Jun 11th 2014
The entire concept of privilege just leads to Tall Poppy Syndrome and guilt. Save "check your privilege" and similar phrases for Tumblr. Keep your impassioned social justice warcries out of this wiki, as they've no place here!

Also, it is ridiculous to throw a fit over a villain being anything other than an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette or one of Those Wacky Nazis. That is one of the major reasons why Positive Discrimination exists. It's a case of writers being so afraid of stepping on somebody's toes (by having a girl who occasionally gets scared or a black kid who is athletic), that they go overboard in making the Token Minority not-offensive, to the point of creating a Mary Sue. Now we have to get out of that habit.
03:58:15 AM Oct 6th 2014
@Celtic Kawaii, > implying that wanting positive representation for oppressed minorities in the media is only a "Tumblr" thing and that the typical stereotypes aren't harmful and don't affect society as a whole.
04:34:08 AM Oct 6th 2014
Let's not use the discussion tab for a racism debate. We have forum threads for that and they do demand some more decorum than what I see here, too.
11:11:22 AM May 12th 2012
Kofi Kingston is NOT the only African born person in WWE. Justin Gabriel is from Cape Town, South Africa.
12:10:06 PM May 6th 2011
"If a Lady Land is a utopian paradise, it's probably running on this trope." I disagree with this, if a Lady Land exists and is portrayed as a Utopia, then the males are the ones being descriminated, not the females, the females arn't even being positively descriminated.A
12:26:09 PM May 6th 2011
It fits. If a Lady Land is utopia, the implication is that women are naturally better at ruling and running things than a man is.
06:17:26 AM Jan 2nd 2011
Can we stop adding 'if it was done to x group (let's say men), there'd be outrage!', people? Yes, we know. But it's not being applied to men, or whatever. This is what's known as differing social contexts. The application of a stereotype to a dominant group is different than to an actively marginalized group? Kind of goes without saying, and clutters up the page and breaks the flow IMO.
12:23:32 PM Apr 26th 2011
Double Standards Are Okay When They're Female On Male?
09:42:08 PM Feb 27th 2012
It goes without saying that why should any group face a Double Standard? This trope has just as many Unfortunate Implications as real examples of Mighty Whitey. Why should bigotry against white males be seen as any more acceptable than against minorities or women? There's a lot of Unfortunate Implications in the title, that this form of discrimination is in any way "positive".
03:35:01 AM Sep 25th 2010
We've gotta go through these and take out all of the examples of people thinking "Positive Discrimination" means "applying good (flattering) stereotypes to people." It's about the attitude toward minorities, not about examples of well-intended stereotypes.
03:35:45 AM Jul 16th 2010
It is my understanding that "positive discrimination" refers to an attempt to correct inequity due to past discrimination by tipping the scales in favor of minority groups. For this reason, I think the examples under "Real Life" regarding domestic violence and child custody do not belong in the category of "Positive Discrimination". The underlying problems to these two issues are complex, but it is not that the system is trying to give women an advantage because they were at a disadvantage before.

It is true that the courts used to overwhelmingly give custody to the father, but this was because children (wives, too) were seen to be the property of the husband. It was when the courts began to decide based on what was best for the children that the tides shifted, because tradition has it that the mother be the primary caregiver, and because of the stereotype that women are more nurturing and whatnot. So, this is a case of going along with old, old assumptions, not trying to reverse them.

As for the domestic violence, well everyone knows that men are more assertive and physically capable than women, right? It's often considered humiliating for a man to be bested by a women in anything, except, like, cleaning or talking about one's feelings. Can you imagine being a man who was physically abused or raped by a woman, perhaps considering reporting it to the police, but fearing they would just snicker at him for being overpowered by the "little lady"? Society is not kind to anyone who fails to play their gender role, whatever their gender. Add to that the fact that many people believe that it is impossible for a woman to rape, and that the victim himself might be one of them. And the media, the idea of them ignoring female-on-male abuse so women don't get in trouble is ludicrous. I imagine if they covered it at all, they would lament how wussy men are these days and how aggressive the women, and then they would probably quote a Ke$ha song or something. Which would be the exact opposite of helping.

As I say, the issues are rather complex, and filing them under "Reverse Discrimination" is not only too simplistic, but inaccurate, and I suggest the entries be removed.
12:07:39 PM Jan 19th 2016
edited by search
Maybe this website should have a page called "Aesop Dissonance" where what occurs on the screen is often the opposite of what actually happens in reality. For example, we're told that beauty and wealth don't matter, but people who have those things are realistically better off than those who don't. Stereotypes are often found together but slightly differently, such as in the old story of Bonnie and Clyde, where Clyde does most of the killing and Bonnie mostly cheers him on, but she shoots a gun when her or her partners life is in danger. Stereotypes of the majority can undermine social relationships, but they're still not as bad as stereotypes of the minority. I don't think there's much of a shortage of evil or manipulative women on TV or movies. Discovery ID has several series dedicated solely to murderous spouses. I saw somewhere in an encyclopedia of female criminals throughout history that, while of course most ugly people aren't evil, a lot of female criminals tended to be rather unattractive, possibly because that made them social outcasts. Heroes reborn features Erica, a businesswoman who believes that it's futile to save humanity from the coming apocalypse and so tries to only preserve certain people that she deems worthy. This involves capturing the Heroes somehow even though one of them is prophesized to stop it. Stereotypes often have a twist in them, like in Despicable Me where the main character starts out a typical Russian supervillain and then does a heel-face turn to save his children from the bad guy down the block. There are plenty of good and evil characters of all races and genders, but the difference is mostly in the role that they play. For example, white collar business criminals are usually white, blue collar street criminals are usually white. Marital gold diggers are usually female and seducers can be either gender, but the men are usually physically stronger or gentlemanly while the women are more clever and naughty.
11:59:05 PM Jun 24th 2010
I'm skeptical about the Red Dwarf example. Sure Kochanski was more competent than Lister, Rimmer, the Cat, and Kryten, but you need to remember, she was established as a navigations officer while Rimmer and Lister were the two lowest ranked members of the ship, Cat had almost no one to teach him anything, and Kryten is neurotic. Yeah her crew was better than the Dwarfers, but she had stuff to teach them.
12:10:48 PM Jun 25th 2010
05:13:35 AM Apr 1st 2010
Can Littlebottom and Angua be considered this? Yes, they are two of the most competent members of the City Watch, but they are also two of the only female members of the City Watch. Should it go here or under the Smurfette Principle? Plus, there are the supremely competent Carrot and Vimes on the Watch.
05:07:38 AM May 6th 2011
07:04:42 AM Mar 8th 2010
I have removed all the Dilbert second-level examples:
  • Adams also created a character named "Tina the Brittle Technical Writer", a woman with a very short fuse and very strong opinions on every subject, mostly negative. He was lambasted for stereotyping women. In response, he jokingly created Antina (antidote to Tina), a character he tried to make as completely non-stereotypical as possible, down to her muscles. He then received letters complaining he was stereotyping lesbians. As he put it in one of the books, "It appeared I could not win." Tina stayed in the strip but became something of a generic character and patsy.
  • Adams got around the similar issue of finding Acceptable Nationality Targets by inventing Elbonia, a backwards, mud-drenched Ruritania that is "foreign to all my readers". He described it as a "second world country; they have plenty of food, they just don't like it."
    • He still got letters.
  • In his commentary book Seven Years Of Highly Defective People he insisted that his editors did the coloring, and chose the worst times to add diversity to the cast. The strip he was commentating on was about a thieving security guard who was colored to be black.

Antina isn't an example of the trope; I'm not sure why the explanation of this was simply shorn rather than folded in. Not unrelatedly, I have no sympathy for Adams's complaint that he "could not win" when he attempted only two stereotypes at opposite ends of the spectrum. I doubt he gets complaints about Alice.

As for the security guard, I'm not sure I believe Adams.
02:51:26 PM Jan 21st 2016
The whole point of comic strips like dilbert is to make fun of corporate bureaucracy more than anything else. The best way to avoid criticism is to show both men and women as competent and try to completely ignore gender, but even then it's never completely impossible to find something to complain about.
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