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A Thread About Sexist Tropes

joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades DemodogIt's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
edited September 2014 in Debate and/or Discourse
I recently watched Yes Man and Garden State, and have noticed a trend in movies over the past decade which has been summed up succinctly and accurately by Mr. Nathan Rabin in one phrase: the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (or MPDG for short).

You know the type. The MPDG is the free-spirited, freewheeling and cute girl next door whom the depressed sad sack of a white dude meets when at the lowest point of his funk, and she exists for the pure and sole purpose of pushing our sheltered and not-so-worldly protagonist out of his comfort zone so that he can undergo a transformation.
Natalie-Portman-Garden-State.3.jpg
I'm here to show you that the world is a playground, because you're not going to leave the house unless you think you'll get to make out with me at some point.

I'd like to deconstruct this a bit. I'm a little conflicted on whether or not this is a harmful trope in and of itself. Certainly the MPDG is a form of wish fulfillment, a clearly idealistic vision of what sort of woman a pathetic white guy who only goes to work and then goes back home alone at the end of the day would like to meet. In a weird sort of way, the MPDG simultaneously provides agency for a man who previously had none, but at the same time has no agency herself since that is her sole purpose in the story. If you look at it from the right angle, the trope both emasculates men (you only have agency and were only able to accomplish anything in your life because you met this magical, idealized, unreal woman) and objectifies women (your purpose in life is to be the motivation for a man to do things, and also your crazy attempts at being three-dimensional make you somewhat flat).

Once in a while, the trope is subverted. The best example I can think of is the show New Girl, which ironically stars Zooey Deschanel, who is typecast as a MPDG almost exclusively. At first it seems like Jess is a pretty standard example of the trope, but it turns out she actually is pretty developed as a character. She does help the guys out with their problems, but she also has problems of her own and does not exist solely to pull a guy out of his little box.

There's also the gender-swapped version of the MPDG (which sadly does not have a catchy phrase that I'm aware of); men in rom coms follow a very strict formula. They are handsome, courteous, have an easily-overcome difficulty which temporarily keeps the leads apart for a (short) time in order to build up romantic suspense, and above all, they are incredibly successful the vast majority of the time. The biggest and worst example I can think of comes from the wretched abomination called Sweet Home Alabama, wherein Reese Witherspoon goes to her husband to ask him for a divorce so that she can marry a wealthy man in New York. She is dead set on the divorce, and has been asking for it for years. She starts to come around to his charms again, but it's only after learning that in her absence he has become an extremely successful (and wealthy) businessman that she decides to remain married to him. Oh, sorry, spoiler alert! The unfortunate implications here are obvious and awful.

But is wish fulfillment a bad thing? Maybe sometimes we just want to curl up on the sofa and fantasize for a while.

If everybody was capable of seeing these films/books/whatever as the media equivalent of cheesecake, you know, all fatty and delicious but certainly not reliable sustenance for every meal, I think it would probably be okay. Obviously people should be free to consume the media they like, and nobody can or should stop these things from being made. The thing that I find distressing, however, is how some people, particularly in the online dating sphere, have taken to expressing their desire to realize these fantasies. Men post on their OKCupid profiles that they're "seeking their very own manic pixie dream girl", literally, and without any awareness whatsoever of what they're doing. I have known men who seek out the MPDG, and typically when they find her, she is very young and immature. For them, the MPDG is a distraction, not a method by which they can transform. Once the inevitable breakup occurs, they go back to being the same whiny, uninteresting and flat person they were when not having to rely on a girl for motivation.

I guess what I'm saying in a nutshell is that we as a culture are addicted to these cheesecake tropes in our media. I think too many of us get our social interaction cues from watching TV and get frustrated when it doesn't translate into real life, in particular when we have expectations for the people whom we have a romantic attraction to which are completely unrealistic or demeaning. It'd be nice if more writers fleshed out characters instead of putting cardboard cutouts of personalities on the screen or page just to appeal to our love of cheesecake.

Note that this thread isn't just about the MPDG or rom coms. It's here to talk about patterns and common tropes that pop up which may actually have a negative impact on the real world in some way, specifically with regard to gender or even gender identity.

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Posts

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    We've spent a lot of time identifying the concept of these tropes and a mechanism of harm, but are there numbers supporting a significant effect?

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I think in general there's a strong myth that Hollywood likes to peddle of "Someone will come along to fix your life for you." Magical black men, Angels looking to get their wings, and so on. It' prevalent in our favorite literature, too. There's a strange desire to shed agency and responsibility (often being hypocritical). Usually it takes just one special effort on the protagonist's part to get their happy ending, rather than a lifetime of work. Everything comes down to a special contest with a huge windfall and then everything is fixed forever!

    Regarding magic pixie dream people, they tend to be extremely high-maintenance when it comes to effort. I happen to have someone in my life like that, and recently I asked them what they wanted for their birthday. Their response? A list of 17 tasks to accomplish in their stead, one of which involves driving to the mountains 2 hours away. It's a rewarding as heck to be friends or lovers with such people, but it's not something that you just establish once and then settle into. It's an active lifestyle.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    Another thing I would like to talk about is how the guy who coined the manic pixie dream girl phrase has totally disavowed it, and finds it harmful. I disagree; it's an observation of something clearly occurring in the zeitgeist. The phrase itself is not what is harmful, in my opinion, it's the overreliance on the trope itself with no attempt made to flesh out the characters.

    Friends don't lie.
  • NickTheNewbieNickTheNewbie Registered User regular
    The guy who coined MPDG recently wrote an article about some of the bad things that have happened since he first mentioned it. http://www.salon.com/2014/07/15/im_sorry_for_coining_the_phrase_manic_pixie_dream_girl/

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    crisis and catharsis, dramatic tension and resolution, buildup and climax

    these are how we write stories. Does anybody get entertained by reading about the slow and plodding, brick upon brick construction of a successful life? One where you have setbacks and then you're just... set back, and you stack another brick anyway, and it just continues until...?


    That's not how you spin a good tale.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    crisis and catharsis, dramatic tension and resolution, buildup and climax

    these are how we write stories. Does anybody get entertained by reading about the slow and plodding, brick upon brick construction of a successful life? One where you have setbacks and then you're just... set back, and you stack another brick anyway, and it just continues until...?


    That's not how you spin a good tale.

    Your point is well-taken, but I have seen enough well-developed fictional characters to know a flat one when I see it. Obviously some simplification needs to occur, but it doesn't need to happen to the extent that we see in, say, Yes Man.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    crisis and catharsis, dramatic tension and resolution, buildup and climax

    these are how we write stories. Does anybody get entertained by reading about the slow and plodding, brick upon brick construction of a successful life? One where you have setbacks and then you're just... set back, and you stack another brick anyway, and it just continues until...?


    That's not how you spin a good tale.

    Like the magic negro trope the MPDG is lame because it turns another person into nothing more than a catalyst for the protagonist. the Pixie is almost never defined as a real character just a thing that helps the male protagonist fix himself,

    I'd say an interesting counterpart the the usual trope is something like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. On the surface it's a manic pixie dream girl story but Kate Winslet's character exists outside just wish fulfillment for the protagonist which end up being the actual conflict of the story.

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  • NickTheNewbieNickTheNewbie Registered User regular
    The biggest and worst example I can think of comes from the wretched abomination called Sweet Home Alabama, wherein Reese Witherspoon goes to her husband to ask him for a divorce so that she can marry a wealthy man in New York. She is dead set on the divorce, and has been asking for it for years. She starts to come around to his charms again, but it's only after learning that in her absence he has become an extremely successful (and wealthy) businessman that she decides to remain married to him. Oh, sorry, spoiler alert! The unfortunate implications here are obvious and awful.

    Now I'm no romcom fan, but wasn't the point more that he showed was actually no longer a deadbeat drunk with no prospects or aspirations? I mean, she had her own money already without the New York guy, and rich people tend to marry other rich people.


    So I just typed that paragraph and let it stew for 5 minutes, and realized that a romcom with the roles reversed would probably have a different outcome if standard tropes were used. Like, the farm-girl would not be a successful business person, but instead just have a small town appreciation for friends and family, so the guy would realize that and come back home.

    Probably.

    ElJeffeKristmas Kthulhu
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    crisis and catharsis, dramatic tension and resolution, buildup and climax

    these are how we write stories. Does anybody get entertained by reading about the slow and plodding, brick upon brick construction of a successful life? One where you have setbacks and then you're just... set back, and you stack another brick anyway, and it just continues until...?


    That's not how you spin a good tale.

    Your point is well-taken, but I have seen enough well-developed fictional characters to know a flat one when I see it. Obviously some simplification needs to occur, but it doesn't need to happen to the extent that we see in, say, Yes Man.

    agreed. And I'm not trying to say that writing a sexist character is just how we do stories! Plenty of great novels have deep characterization and dramatic tension and rises and falls that build over the course of a narrative to a satisfying climax and resolution without needing a cardboard cutout character to drive things along as his or her sole narrative purpose.

    But we do it anyway because it's an easier way to get to the payoff in 88 minutes, so the patrons leave smiling and the movie makes money.

  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
  • TexiKenTexiKen Boostermobile...... .....from Brysler!Registered User regular
    To me the best example of this was that movie Ruby Sparks. Which, even written by the woman who played the perfect girl and therefore seemed to get away from greater criticism, seemed to be completely oblivious to the message the film gave about a guy being able to control the woman with his story. It was like the MPDG was so infused in what modern quasi-hipster women think that it somehow made it ok. And that kind of freaked me out, because it's worse than Dharma from Dharma & Greg.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    In a vacuum wish fulfillment can be fine

    I mean otherwise we'd be throwing any kind of fantasy out the window which is part of movies.

    but when the same exact wish fulfillments come up over and over again it usually says something about our culture that merits discussion.

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  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    crisis and catharsis, dramatic tension and resolution, buildup and climax

    these are how we write stories. Does anybody get entertained by reading about the slow and plodding, brick upon brick construction of a successful life? One where you have setbacks and then you're just... set back, and you stack another brick anyway, and it just continues until...?


    That's not how you spin a good tale.

    You say this has if realism wasn't a literary genre we all learned in school.

    In any case, MPDG is an archetype, and movie narratives peddle in archetypes. In a way, the MPDG isn't fundamentally different from the wise old man, the whiz kid hacker, the magical negro.

    But archetypes aren't characters, and Garden State isn't Captain America. It's one thing when a two-dimensional archetype appears on-screen for five minutes to move the plot along. It's a different matter entirely when one half of a love story is paper-thin. The Slate article posted above references Annie Hall approvingly: it is entirely possible to write a movie with the same basic structure built where the inspirational lover is a fleshed-out character with her own life and history.

    Garden State, 500 Days of Summer, and its ilk are based in real places, with the characters doing lots of normal everyday things. We know, when we sit down and watch Captain America or Harry Potter, that we're sitting down to watch a romantic hero story and that everything happens in the story to prop up the basic good vs evil narrative. Garden State, on the other hand, tempts us with the promise of something authentic. Maybe it is even semi autobiographical! So when the second most important character turns out to be as much of a fantasy as Peggy Carter, I find that to be a little disappointing.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    On the subject of the MPDG, the movie (500) Days of Summer does a pretty good job of deconstructing the trope (among other), to the point where a lot of the time people don't understand that that's what's happening. Probably partly because it stars Zooey Deschenal.

    ElJeffeKristmas KthulhushrykeKana
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Part of, and but not limited to the MPDG is the 48 hours action romance plot as a whole. The concept that on superficial levels of emotional conversations plus zany, time sensitive action antics somehow resolves into solid and functional relationship. Included in this is the action or romcom one night stand because "we may die tomorrow" that really doesn't serve to make relatable or realistic characters, especially when previous exposition establishes them as the sort of folk who wouldn't do such.

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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    Feral wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    crisis and catharsis, dramatic tension and resolution, buildup and climax

    these are how we write stories. Does anybody get entertained by reading about the slow and plodding, brick upon brick construction of a successful life? One where you have setbacks and then you're just... set back, and you stack another brick anyway, and it just continues until...?


    That's not how you spin a good tale.

    You say this has if realism wasn't a literary genre we all learned in school.

    In any case, MPDG is an archetype, and movie narratives peddle in archetypes. In a way, the MPDG isn't fundamentally different from the wise old man, the whiz kid hacker, the magical negro.

    But archetypes aren't characters, and Garden State isn't Captain America. It's one thing when a two-dimensional archetype appears on-screen for five minutes to move the plot along. It's a different matter entirely when one half of a love story is paper-thin. The Slate article posted above references Annie Hall approvingly: it is entirely possible to write a movie with the same basic structure built where the inspirational lover is a fleshed-out character with her own life and history.

    Garden State, 500 Days of Summer, and its ilk are based in real places, with the characters doing lots of normal everyday things. We know, when we sit down and watch Captain America or Harry Potter, that we're sitting down to watch a romantic hero story and that everything happens in the story to prop up the basic good vs evil narrative. Garden State, on the other hand, tempts us with the promise of something authentic. Maybe it is even semi autobiographical! So when the second most important character turns out to be as much of a fantasy as Peggy Carter, I find that to be a little disappointing.

    to be fair, 500 days of summer was pretty subversive to the mpdg trope - like the whole point of the movie was that jgl's character was unable or unwilling to identify with zoe deschanel's character as a person on her own terms and as a result their relationship was unsuccessful. i would say a similar thing about eternal sunshine.

    there are still plenty of movies that unironically fulfil the mpdg trope, tho. i am not contesting that.

    i do think that the comparison above of mpdg's to the male characters in romantic comedies is pretty apt. the male leads in many of those movies exist only to provide the female leads with a goal and opportunity to self-actualize, and rarely have much going on outside of checking a bunch of boxes (handsome, rich, romantic, devoted, sometimes rarely funny).

    Wqdwp8l.png
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    TexiKen wrote: »
    To me the best example of this was that movie Ruby Sparks. Which, even written by the woman who played the perfect girl and therefore seemed to get away from greater criticism, seemed to be completely oblivious to the message the film gave about a guy being able to control the woman with his story. It was like the MPDG was so infused in what modern quasi-hipster women think that it somehow made it ok. And that kind of freaked me out, because it's worse than Dharma from Dharma & Greg.

    Except Ruby Sparks
    showed how fantastically fucking creepy that is, and ends with the protagonist realizing that the girl can't just exist as his personal salvation and fuck-toy. So grants her legitimate agency, even if that means he doesn't get to be with her anymore.

    It was specifically a refutation of the MPDG trope. It was not oblivious in any way at all.

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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    just in general, american media seems to have a bad handle on presenting balanced romance or romantic relationships. i mean i guess wish-fulfillment isn't necessarily particularly realistic or nuanced or balanced, and people don't usually care to watch quotidian stories where two flawed people get along pretty well.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Amelie is an interesting example - MPDG as the protagonist, though she does go after a poorly explained MPDGuy who gets the usual treatment.

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  • TexiKenTexiKen Boostermobile...... .....from Brysler!Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    TexiKen wrote: »
    To me the best example of this was that movie Ruby Sparks. Which, even written by the woman who played the perfect girl and therefore seemed to get away from greater criticism, seemed to be completely oblivious to the message the film gave about a guy being able to control the woman with his story. It was like the MPDG was so infused in what modern quasi-hipster women think that it somehow made it ok. And that kind of freaked me out, because it's worse than Dharma from Dharma & Greg.

    Except Ruby Sparks
    showed how fantastically fucking creepy that is, and ends with the protagonist realizing that the girl can't just exist as his personal salvation and fuck-toy. So grants her legitimate agency, even if that means he doesn't get to be with her anymore.

    It was specifically a refutation of the MPDG trope. It was not oblivious in any way at all.

    but then in the end
    he runs into the same girl, only as far as we know now normal, which somehow makes it ok to try and get her again?

    That seemed off and just brought back the whole wish fulfillment thing, only now he's a successful writer so it was worth it!

    V7fYqnw.jpg
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Irond Will wrote: »
    to be fair, 500 days of summer was pretty subversive to the mpdg trope - like the whole point of the movie was that jgl's character was unable or unwilling to identify with zoe deschanel's character as a person on her own terms and as a result their relationship was unsuccessful. i would say a similar thing about eternal sunshine.

    That's fair.
    Irond Will wrote: »
    i do think that the comparison above of mpdg's to the male characters in romantic comedies is pretty apt. the male leads in many of those movies exist only to provide the female leads with a goal and opportunity to self-actualize, and rarely have much going on outside of checking a bunch of boxes (handsome, rich, romantic, devoted, sometimes rarely funny).

    For sure.

    I don't think that wish-fulfillment archetypes are necessarily bad things in all cases. Paladin asked above if it can be demonstrated that MPDG is harmful. I don't know that it can.

    Rather, I see MPDG as a symptom of a deeper problem, in that fiction - as it is commercialized, in every medium - is still male-dominated. Despite a minority of breakout authors, most professional fiction writers are men, most publishers and editors are men; most directors, producers, and screenwriters are men; most game developers and designers are men.

    Consequently, female characters tend to be less fleshed out, more passive, and more reactive (on average) than male characters, in any given commercial fiction medium. MPDG is just one example. There are genre exceptions - romcoms and romantic literature, mostly - but I don't think those are sufficient antidotes.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    Feral wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    i do think that the comparison above of mpdg's to the male characters in romantic comedies is pretty apt. the male leads in many of those movies exist only to provide the female leads with a goal and opportunity to self-actualize, and rarely have much going on outside of checking a bunch of boxes (handsome, rich, romantic, devoted, sometimes rarely funny).

    For sure.

    I don't think that wish-fulfillment archetypes are necessarily bad things in all cases. Paladin asked above if it can be demonstrated that MPDG is harmful. I don't know that it can.

    Rather, I see MPDG as a symptom of a deeper problem, in that fiction - as it is commercialized, in every medium - is still male-dominated. Despite a minority of breakout authors, most professional fiction writers are men, most publishers and editors are men; most directors, producers, and screenwriters are men; most game developers and designers are men.

    Consequently, female characters tend to be less fleshed out, more passive, and more reactive (on average) than male characters, in any given commercial fiction medium. MPDG is just one example. There are genre exceptions - romcoms and romantic literature, mostly - but I don't think those are sufficient antidotes.

    this begs the question, though, whether it's harmful that romantic-interest characters are presented as cheap caricatures and plot points, or whether it's harmful that there isn't a balanced number of them per gender.

    or, i guess, both.

    Wqdwp8l.png
    Apothe0sis
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    MPDGuy

    Could you call Peter Gibbons that in the movie Office Space? His laid back attitude rubs off on Jennifer Aniston's character, causing her to quit a job she hates. He's selling a dream, he's acting irrationally, he's not a pixie but 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Irond Will wrote: »
    just in general, american media seems to have a bad handle on presenting balanced romance or romantic relationships. i mean i guess wish-fulfillment isn't necessarily particularly realistic or nuanced or balanced, and people don't usually care to watch quotidian stories where two flawed people get along pretty well.

    I feel like there's less of an excuse for rushed or sloppily-handled relationships in TV shows by virtue of there being more time to flesh things out and provide nuance to both of the involved parties.

    And I think the comment about these tropes being so common saying a lot about our culture is pretty spot on, but it also seems like it's a two-way street to a certain extent. I mean, Twilight came out and ridiculous people started wanting their very own Edward all over the place.

    joshofalltrades on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    It might point to a broader issue of culture treating men and women as fundamentally different creatures which can never truly relate.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    MPDGuy

    Could you call Peter Gibbons that in the movie Office Space? His laid back attitude rubs off on Jennifer Aniston's character, causing her to quit a job she hates. He's selling a dream, he's acting irrationally, he's not a pixie but 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

    I dunno, Peter has agency, though. He doesn't exist to transform Jennifer Aniston exclusively, he's in the movie trying to transform himself, it's just that Aniston is part of his transformation since he was always too afraid to just ask her out.

    I would almost say Office Space is a good example of a man actually taking the initiative to change himself for once, and that while Aniston's character realized through her time with Peter that she really did hate her job and needed to quit, she would have likely come to that conclusion eventually regardless. Peter is the one who changes over the course of that movie.

    Friends don't lie.
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited September 2014
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    MPDGuy

    Could you call Peter Gibbons that in the movie Office Space? His laid back attitude rubs off on Jennifer Aniston's character, causing her to quit a job she hates. He's selling a dream, he's acting irrationally, he's not a pixie but 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

    But his mid-life crisis isn't necessarily painted as a good thing. It leads to him being really stupid, almost getting caught for massive fraud, and almost fucking up his relationship. In the end, he learns a lesson about how to handle things like relationships and careers, and once he learns to handle them maturely, things work out. Also note that he effectively earns a Mulligan on the fraud front by being willing to take the fall for it.

    Ditto Ruby Sparks. There is nothing wrong with a film illustrating negative behaviors and then rewarding a character for fixing those negative behaviors. Once RS's protagonist realizes he's being an asshole and does the right thing, he is rewarded with a second chance to develop a relationship with the girl. And it's not even an automatic win - it's just, "Now you get an opportunity to approach this relationship from a non-toxic angle, we'll see how it goes."

    ElJeffe on
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  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    This:
    The thing that I find distressing, however, is how some people, particularly in the online dating sphere, have taken to expressing their desire to realize these fantasies.

    And this:
    I think too many of us get our social interaction cues from watching TV and get frustrated when it doesn't translate into real life, in particular when we have expectations for the people whom we have a romantic attraction to which are completely unrealistic or demeaning.

    Is spot on. And to be honest, I think this is part of the reason guys on dating platforms or in general become "nice guys". That myth Hollywood peddles about how relationships are formed and sustained is not good.

    And as somebody already said, this is not escapist fantasy as an action movie, sci fi movie or Lord of the Rings is. These movies and TV shows are supposedly depicting something real and achieveable, so I think they are a little more than just harmless escapist movies.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    TheBigEasy wrote: »
    This:
    The thing that I find distressing, however, is how some people, particularly in the online dating sphere, have taken to expressing their desire to realize these fantasies.

    And this:
    I think too many of us get our social interaction cues from watching TV and get frustrated when it doesn't translate into real life, in particular when we have expectations for the people whom we have a romantic attraction to which are completely unrealistic or demeaning.

    Is spot on. And to be honest, I think this is part of the reason guys on dating platforms or in general become "nice guys". That myth Hollywood peddles about how relationships are formed and sustained is not good.

    And as somebody already said, this is not escapist fantasy as an action movie, sci fi movie or Lord of the Rings is. These movies and TV shows are supposedly depicting something real and achieveable, so I think they are a little more than just harmless escapist movies.

    Well, I can't point exclusively to movies or TV and say that's literally the cause of "nice guys". I can speculate that this unfortunate situation developed because the Facebook stalker guy involved in the exchange is very socially inept and may have even gotten his "romance" cues from media, but it's only speculation. However, the guy does say she could be his "Felicia Day" or "Chloe Dykstra" so he clearly is engaging in the pursuit of what he perceives to be a MPDG. And he pretty much expects her to leap at him just like they do in the movies. The MPDG always goes for the stuffed shirt, right?

    Good on the woman in that link to wake him back up, though.

    Friends don't lie.
  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    Well, I can't point exclusively to movies or TV and say that's literally the cause of "nice guys". I can speculate that this unfortunate situation developed because the Facebook stalker guy involved in the exchange is very socially inept and may have even gotten his "romance" cues from media, but it's only speculation. However, the guy does say she could be his "Felicia Day" or "Chloe Dykstra" so he clearly is engaging in the pursuit of what he perceives to be a MPDG. And he pretty much expects her to leap at him just like they do in the movies. The MPDG always goes for the stuffed shirt, right?

    Good on the woman in that link to wake him back up, though.

    Well, that's why I said "part of the reason" :wink:

    I know that at least it was causing me some hangups in the past and some unrealistic expectations. And I am not that special a snowflake that I am the only one having unrealistic expectations about life and relationships because of this.

    InfamyDeferred
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »

    I just got around to reading this and I'd heard the term "stuffed in the fridge" before but it's good to know the origin.

    Comic book readership is still majority male, but the split is becoming more even lately at ~46% being female. And there's a strong correlation which shows women prefer female comic book heroes (shocking!).

    I have to wonder if the increased female readership is due to less sexualization or more empowerment of the female heroes. Perhaps both.

    Friends don't lie.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    TheBigEasy wrote: »
    Well, I can't point exclusively to movies or TV and say that's literally the cause of "nice guys". I can speculate that this unfortunate situation developed because the Facebook stalker guy involved in the exchange is very socially inept and may have even gotten his "romance" cues from media, but it's only speculation. However, the guy does say she could be his "Felicia Day" or "Chloe Dykstra" so he clearly is engaging in the pursuit of what he perceives to be a MPDG. And he pretty much expects her to leap at him just like they do in the movies. The MPDG always goes for the stuffed shirt, right?

    Good on the woman in that link to wake him back up, though.

    Well, that's why I said "part of the reason" :wink:

    I know that at least it was causing me some hangups in the past and some unrealistic expectations. And I am not that special a snowflake that I am the only one having unrealistic expectations about life and relationships because of this.

    This is one of my favorite Cracked pieces:

    6 Romantic Movie Gestures That Can Get You Prison Time

    Friends don't lie.
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »

    I just got around to reading this and I'd heard the term "stuffed in the fridge" before but it's good to know the origin.

    Comic book readership is still majority male, but the split is becoming more even lately at ~46% being female. And there's a strong correlation which shows women prefer female comic book heroes (shocking!).

    I have to wonder if the increased female readership is due to less sexualization or more empowerment of the female heroes. Perhaps both.

    I wonder if more women are reading comics because their representation is improving, of if their representation is improving because more women are reading comics? I tempted to think it's the latter, and it's just that, like with games, the medium is moving out of the 'white, nerd manchild' demographic and becoming a lot more mainstream.

    Tube wrote: »
    No, I hate D&D more than the other subforums because it's more of a pain in my arse.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Nova_C wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »

    I just got around to reading this and I'd heard the term "stuffed in the fridge" before but it's good to know the origin.

    Comic book readership is still majority male, but the split is becoming more even lately at ~46% being female. And there's a strong correlation which shows women prefer female comic book heroes (shocking!).

    I have to wonder if the increased female readership is due to less sexualization or more empowerment of the female heroes. Perhaps both.

    I wonder if more women are reading comics because their representation is improving, of if their representation is improving because more women are reading comics? I tempted to think it's the latter, and it's just that, like with games, the medium is moving out of the 'white, nerd manchild' demographic and becoming a lot more mainstream.

    I think it's both. The less they see of this:
    goldie_gold_captive_2332.jpg
    Aha! I have grabbed your arm, so you are now totally helpless!

    ...the more likely they are to not get incredibly offended and turned off of the hobby forever.

    But it's as you say, better representation probably inspires the writers to take that into account, and when they do more people are comfortable reading them, and round and round we go.

    IANAW

    joshofalltrades on
    Friends don't lie.
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2014
    So It Goes wrote: »

    I just got around to reading this and I'd heard the term "stuffed in the fridge" before but it's good to know the origin.

    Comic book readership is still majority male, but the split is becoming more even lately at ~46% being female. And there's a strong correlation which shows women prefer female comic book heroes (shocking!).

    I have to wonder if the increased female readership is due to less sexualization or more empowerment of the female heroes. Perhaps both.

    I am really digging the new Wonder Woman books and I feel Cliff Chiang really draws her well - she has a real ribcage, she looks strong, the women he draws in general in those pages are realistic and not over sexualized. In a couple books another artist draws an issue or two and the difference (can't remember the name of the one guy who does it this way) is pretty noticeable. Extra thin waist, skinnier legs, bigger boobs. Sigh.

    I like reading about female superheroes and I like them drawn not like waifs.

    So It Goes on
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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    The creators are still slow to react. Like you have DC claiming there's no audience for a Wonder Woman movie when Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy more or less had a 50/50 audience demographic split.

    nexuscrawler on
    So It GoesFeralAngelHedgiejoshofalltradestapeslingerMr RaycB557
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    If artists are shaped by the feedback they receive I believe it's very much the latter. Comic artists have mouths to feed and can't afford to maintain a singular vision in opposition to the public.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    If artists are shaped by the feedback they receive I believe it's very much the latter. Comic artists have mouths to feed and can't afford to maintain a singular vision in opposition to the public.

    It's more a culture issue - DC has a lot of grognard cruft in its fandom and artist pool, while Marvel has cleaned up its act more (most likely thanks to Disney.)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »

    I just got around to reading this and I'd heard the term "stuffed in the fridge" before but it's good to know the origin.

    Comic book readership is still majority male, but the split is becoming more even lately at ~46% being female. And there's a strong correlation which shows women prefer female comic book heroes (shocking!).

    I have to wonder if the increased female readership is due to less sexualization or more empowerment of the female heroes. Perhaps both.

    I am really digging the new Wonder Woman books and I feel Cliff Chiang really draws her well - she has a real ribcage, she looks strong, the women he draws in general in those pages are realistic and not over sexualized. In a couple books another artist draws an issue or two and the difference (can't remember the name of the one guy who does it this way) is pretty noticeable.

    I like reading about female superheroes and I like them drawn not like waifs.

    Yeah, this:
    tumblr_mmwv7pAvR61qg1iejo1_500.png

    is miles better than the older stuff, IMO.

    Oversexualization of female protagonists is something that makes me deeply uncomfortable, but it's always most pronounced in video games for some reason. Maybe because it feels so exploitative to be controlling them myself, but I have far fewer issues with playing a female character in Diablo 3 than I do playing the Amazon from Dragon's Crown.

    Friends don't lie.
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    The creators are still slow to react. Like you have DC claiming there's no audience for a Wonder Woman movie when Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy more or less had a 50/50 audience demographic split.

    Whatever the reason, the comics industry isn't so protected that bad business decisions don't regularly predate "hmm, whatever happened to X artist or series from a while back"

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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