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A Thread About Sexist Tropes

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Posts

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Kristmas KthulhujoshofalltradesHarry DresdenShadowhope
  • Kristmas KthulhuKristmas Kthulhu Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    There's a difference between "I didn't like this game because the graphics were bad" and "This game's bad graphics are indicative of an industry-wide cancer. We need more games with good graphics and fewer games with bad graphics. Artists who make games with bad graphics should be ashamed of themselves and we should all endeavor only to support games with good graphics."

    I see a little projection in your post and think you might want to look at the two hypothetical criticisms you've listed and ask yourself, honestly, if you represented both sides accurately.

    Regardless of "graphics are bad vs. I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE," let's set that aside for a moment, I don't care that they are different. I want to know why one is OK to discuss critically and one isn't. Graphics are fair game. Story is fair game. Load times are fair game. Weapon realism is fair game. Representation of women is not. Why?

    Because sexism/racism/etc. has baggage that those other categories do not.

    Saying "You wrote a bad story" implies you did an inferior job.
    Saying "You wrote a sexist story" implies that you maligned half of the human race.

    FWIW, I think that most criticism of sexist tropes can be done without specifically invoking sexism.

    "This art is bad because the human body cannot actually contort into that position." "This story is poorly written because this character acts in a ridiculously stupid way in order to serve the plot." "The costume design is terrible, because people can't actually fight very effectively in high heels, barring them being on horseback." "This art is bad because a reverse image search shows you exactly which porn films the artist traced off of in each panel." "The film would have been better served if that character and that character had more scenes, preferably together, as one of those characters was one of the best parts of the story, and the other character was interesting but underused." "This art is bad because real human beings have feet."

    I think that when possible, it's easier to first convince someone that something is terrible, and then point out that it's also sexist, then it is to convince someone that something is terrible because it's sexist. The latter often leads, in my experience, to "No, it's not sexist!" and then the person gets defensive, and the discussion can't move forward.

    This is not only super disingenuous, it automatically assumes that realism is a quality to be prized in and of itself over meaning and entertainment. "This superpowered woman who can fly is unrealistically depicted in this drawing of her punching a robot dinosaur."
    Shadowhope wrote:
    "This art is bad because the human body cannot actually contort into that position."
    Shadowhope wrote:
    "The costume design is terrible, because people can't actually fight very effectively in high heels, barring them being on horseback."

    These are perhaps the two statements made by Shadowhope that you could almost maybe stretch out of shape and squint at to call "super disingenuous" in your post. The rest is a non sequitur. But I'll bite anyway.

    Asking that a character you like who performs fantastic actions emulate reality in certain ways (such as having a torso big enough for lungs, heart, stomach, large and small intestine, liver, etc) or to not be drawn in impossible poses in order to accentuate her sexual characteristics to exclusively pander to her male heterosexual readers is not valuing realism over meaning and entertainment. It is, at its most basic, asking the artist to do his fucking job correctly.

    We can ask more from our artists depicting heroes (superpowered and otherwise) without being disingenuous. We can like a character, and dislike the way that many times her greatness is reduced to a pair of tits and ass, or a trophy for a male hero to acquire. We can and should call artists out so that we don't have to roll our eyes over shit like this just so we can justify the fact of her existence as a character in a comic.

    IncenjucarShadowhopeElvenshae
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    I am also tired of the false dichotomies being presented by several parties, including J and Frankiedarling, where there is simply a binary between "Accepting that sexist art exists and there is nothing you can do about it" and "Actively suppressing sexist art and oppressing the artists who produce it".

    J in particular is a big fan of his bullshit false dichotomies and "Aristotlean" choices that only exist as a binary for his arbitrary reasons without establishing why they must be so. I'm tired of it.

    There is no binary. There is no either or. There is no one or the other. It is a gradient of influence where you can impact the minds and values of other people without oppressing or suppressing anyone.

    This goes back to the very first post I made (the one of substance, anyway, not the one I deleted), which talked about the difference between Censorship, Consumer Awareness, and Artist Awareness. There are some (J is someone I'll single out, but there are others) who consider it all on a singular continuum with censorship, where it's either censorship or irrelevancy, and that's bullshit.

    Using the anecdote I posted as an example of my own experience interacting with a fan who pointed out sexist problems in my own writing, there's an example of what was originally Consumer Awareness (she was trying to talk to other fans about it) and then later Artist Awareness (she reached out to me, the writer). Consumer Awareness had zero traction for her, because the other fans she interacted with didn't see a problem and were unable to separate her considering the character as sexist as calling the entire comic sexist (which was the most common defense being mounted) or that essentially that the fans themselves were somehow sexist for enjoying a comic that she thought had a character in it that was a sexist stereotype.

    So she tried Artist Awareness instead, and contacted me, and even that was only truly effective (because remember, even I got defensive about it initially) after I consulted with peers and had other female writers be like, yeah dogg, this is actually pretty problematic and that character sucks and you shouldn't write characters like that, but what's done is done I guess.

    What was the result? Well, for that individual comic, nothing ultimately. I never really changed the character (because it was a writing issue, not like, how I drew them, because I wasn't the illustrator) and I never really got the chance to like, write them out of the comic for other reasons where I stopped being a part of the series.

    But what was the result for me, as a writer? Well, I never wrote a character like that again, I tell ya what. I also, in general, took a more careful and critical eye to the sort of tropes and archetypes I used in my writing than I was doing before, very specifically for things like not just sexism, but also racism and other forms of discrimination that might not register with me on a conscious level but might sneak into my writing without my intent. After all, I'm a white, cisgender man, it's not exactly hard for me to write a character who is not those things and for me to come across like I'm talking out my ass.

    So it was an experience I grew from, as a writer, and it had a net positive effect on the things I wrote, and although my pop culture relevance is effectively zero (I'm not a professional writer, after all), were that ever to change I'd still be carrying forward that same attitude and the same knowledge.

    Comic book artists like Matt Fraction and game developers like Manveer Heir have similar stories. Stuff that made them stop and go "Huh" about the stuff they were creating and being involved in. Sometimes it was the work of other artists. Sometimes it was outreach from their audience. Sometimes it was the work of activists, including maligned critics and pundits who dare to opine about art and what may be wrong with the cultural impact it is having on people.

    If you keep putting it as a binary, like there's either nothing you can do or it's some kind of oppressive act, then I can only draw one of two conclusions (If, of course, I assume you're arguing in good faith and not just screwing with people for your own amusement, J): Either you're literally incapable of understanding this "hew-mon" concept of nuance, or you're too fucking cowardly to try to address the question on its own terms like it can actually be asked, without histrionically screaming "THEY'RE TRYING TO TAKE OUR VIDEO GAMES"

    IncenjucarCambiataCaedwyrWashAndy JoeHarry DresdenTubularLuggageAngelHedgieArdolKid Presentable
  • Alinius133Alinius133 Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    Here lies the disconnect.
    Putting men in heels -> wierd
    Putting a women in heels -> sexist
    If you label the Women in Heels trope into an always sexist trope, it becomes a lose/lose for the artist. Are there any situations where you feel the use of heels would not be sexist?

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I think in general the most interesting, if not necessarily most worrying tropes are those that aren't as clear cut, like things that stem from biological differences (reproduction, hormones, lifespan, etc.), or things which even relatively few feminists are willing to breach, like visual gender identification. Supergirl in pants vs. Superman in a mini skirt...

    Shadowhope
  • Kristmas KthulhuKristmas Kthulhu Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    ? (Potentially NSFW)

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    Here lies the disconnect.
    Putting men in heels -> wierd
    Putting a women in heels -> sexist
    If you label the Women in Heels trope into an always sexist trope, it becomes a lose/lose for the artist. Are there any situations where you feel the use of heels would not be sexist?

    There would be literally no reason for Captain America to be in heels.

    There's a very prevalent cultural reason that Black Widow is repeatedly.

    CambiataHacksaw
  • Kristmas KthulhuKristmas Kthulhu Registered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    Here lies the disconnect.
    Putting men in heels -> wierd
    Putting a women in heels -> sexist
    If you label the Women in Heels trope into an always sexist trope, it becomes a lose/lose for the artist. Are there any situations where you feel the use of heels would not be sexist?

    How about like... any situation where a real life woman would wear them.

    QuidCambiatajoshofalltradesArdol
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    A quick note: I apologize to anyone who was offended by my calling the heels thing weird. It is certainly atypical, but arbitrarily so, and there's no excuse for that. I did not intend to apply a sense of disapproval.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    Here lies the disconnect.
    Putting men in heels -> wierd
    Putting a women in heels -> sexist
    If you label the Women in Heels trope into an always sexist trope, it becomes a lose/lose for the artist. Are there any situations where you feel the use of heels would not be sexist?

    Of course I do. But in a battle situation, it's not so much "rule of cool" as it is "rule of sexy".

    Like, a woman in a film wearing heels to prom is totally fine. Or to work. Or to the mall.

    While twirling around an uneven battlefield and encircled by ferocious foes bent on murdering her? The only justifications I see for it are to either make her seem more feminine (unnecessary, in my opinion) or more sexually appealing to men. I would go so far as to say that the likelihood of a writer/director using this trope to make a woman seem more powerful because she can do all this in her heels is very, very low.

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
    Kristmas KthulhuShadowhope
  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    There's a difference between "I didn't like this game because the graphics were bad" and "This game's bad graphics are indicative of an industry-wide cancer. We need more games with good graphics and fewer games with bad graphics. Artists who make games with bad graphics should be ashamed of themselves and we should all endeavor only to support games with good graphics."

    I see a little projection in your post and think you might want to look at the two hypothetical criticisms you've listed and ask yourself, honestly, if you represented both sides accurately.

    Regardless of "graphics are bad vs. I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE," let's set that aside for a moment, I don't care that they are different. I want to know why one is OK to discuss critically and one isn't. Graphics are fair game. Story is fair game. Load times are fair game. Weapon realism is fair game. Representation of women is not. Why?

    Because sexism/racism/etc. has baggage that those other categories do not.

    Saying "You wrote a bad story" implies you did an inferior job.
    Saying "You wrote a sexist story" implies that you maligned half of the human race.

    FWIW, I think that most criticism of sexist tropes can be done without specifically invoking sexism.

    "This art is bad because the human body cannot actually contort into that position." "This story is poorly written because this character acts in a ridiculously stupid way in order to serve the plot." "The costume design is terrible, because people can't actually fight very effectively in high heels, barring them being on horseback." "This art is bad because a reverse image search shows you exactly which porn films the artist traced off of in each panel." "The film would have been better served if that character and that character had more scenes, preferably together, as one of those characters was one of the best parts of the story, and the other character was interesting but underused." "This art is bad because real human beings have feet."

    I think that when possible, it's easier to first convince someone that something is terrible, and then point out that it's also sexist, then it is to convince someone that something is terrible because it's sexist. The latter often leads, in my experience, to "No, it's not sexist!" and then the person gets defensive, and the discussion can't move forward.

    This is not only super disingenuous, it automatically assumes that realism is a quality to be prized in and of itself over meaning and entertainment. "This superpowered woman who can fly is unrealistically depicted in this drawing of her punching a robot dinosaur."
    Shadowhope wrote:
    "This art is bad because the human body cannot actually contort into that position."
    Shadowhope wrote:
    "The costume design is terrible, because people can't actually fight very effectively in high heels, barring them being on horseback."

    These are perhaps the two statements made by Shadowhope that you could almost maybe stretch out of shape and squint at to call "super disingenuous" in your post. The rest is a non sequitur. But I'll bite anyway.

    Asking that a character you like who performs fantastic actions emulate reality in certain ways (such as having a torso big enough for lungs, heart, stomach, large and small intestine, liver, etc) or to not be drawn in impossible poses in order to accentuate her sexual characteristics to exclusively pander to her male heterosexual readers is not valuing realism over meaning and entertainment. It is, at its most basic, asking the artist to do his fucking job correctly.

    We can ask more from our artists depicting heroes (superpowered and otherwise) without being disingenuous. We can like a character, and dislike the way that many times her greatness is reduced to a pair of tits and ass, or a trophy for a male hero to acquire. We can and should call artists out so that we don't have to roll our eyes over shit like this just so we can justify the fact of her existence as a character in a comic.

    The disingenuous part was specifically about the technique of tricking somebody into disliking a sexist work by arguing that the work is inferior for non-sexist reasons, an idea I found kinda silly.

    I will continue to argue that realism is overrated at present. People should be willing to enjoy both surrealism (for example, the short-lived series Automatic Kafka) and pulp (like Nextwave or Hellboy), because both are legitimate modes of expression with their own value.

    That Catwoman panel reads to me as over-the-top ridiculous, so I dunno if I'd get up in arms about it. Maybe it's worse in context.

    I'm the first person to dislike unnecessary sexualization in my narrative. But if the people hired to write Catwoman decide that they want to tell a pulpy, escapist story about a sex symbol kicking people in the face, more power to them. They're under no obligation to give me a serious, gritty Catwoman, and not doing so doesn't mean they're not doing their jobs. It's fine if you don't like what they're doing, but to act as though their artistic decisions are objectively wrong is to apply objectivity (in any form) to a fundamentally subjective medium.

    Astaereth on
    ACsTqqK.jpg
    Apothe0sisElvenshae
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    Here lies the disconnect.
    Putting men in heels -> wierd
    Putting a women in heels -> sexist
    If you label the Women in Heels trope into an always sexist trope, it becomes a lose/lose for the artist. Are there any situations where you feel the use of heels would not be sexist?

    When the character in question is specifically being presented as sexualized like, on purpose, in the context of the scene?

    A good example would be the movie Haywire, which was an action espionage film starring Gina Carano and Ewan McGregor and Channing Tatum

    There's a scene, in the movie, where Gina's character Mallory, a bad-ass mercenary ex-marine type, has to go to a fancy dinner party as part of a mission with Michael Fassbender's character, Paul. So she's dressed really nice, which includes a sexy as hell dress and high heels.

    This is acceptable, despite the fact that this is a movie about a shit-kicking bad-ass mercenary woman, because it is a context for a specific scene where it is appropriate for her to be wearing heels in. She wears them for the sexy dinner party (in which Paul is also wearing a slick as fuck tuxedo) and that's it. When a fight scene later breaks out in her hotel room and she's still in her dress from the party, she is not wearing her heels and is actually fighting barefoot because it's fucking stupid to fight in high heels.

    The rest of the movie, every other scene where Mallory is fighting people, she's in proper footwear for the occasion. This is because we're supposed to take Mallory seriously as someone who can kick the blue fuck out of people, not as a sex object to lust over, even though she is played by Gina Carano who is legit really attractive (well, to me, I dunno about you or anyone else). There is a scene where her attractiveness and sexuality is played up a bit, and it's done so intentionally... but it's also done simultaneously with Michael Fassbender of all people and if Michael Fassbender in a slick tux doesn't do it for you get on my level.

    So, you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak... but there's a way to do it and a way not to do it.

    (as an aside, Haywire is a really good movie in general and people should check it out)

    CambiataZampanovWashAistanAngelHedgie
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2014
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I think _J_ said that is what he would do but I think he probably believes anyone should be able to criticize art for any reason they want to. I also don't think Frankie would say that you shouldn't be critical, just that the sexism movement can sometimes go past criticism to trying to remove all forms of a particular art style or whatever.

    Well, people can criticize art for any reason they want. As to whether or not people should be able to criticize art for nonsensical / stupid reasons, I remain undecided.

    Much as I like fire, I am not a strong proponent of book burning. If someone writes a sexist book, we put it on the bookshelf. If you want to critique the book, go nuts. But don't critique it in a nonsensical way, unless you really want to; I can't stop you.

    Yeah but do you really think it's nonsensical/stupid to criticize universal portrayal of women as inferior? I mean I have a lot of problems with the way people go about these sorts of discussions, but in the end I do feel like there is a legitimate concern about the portrayal of women in media.

    I think much criticism of how various sexes / genders are portrayed in media ignores the history and context of that media, how the media fits within the trends of 'Western Civilization'. I think some people are a bit naive in their beliefs about the degree to which some minor changes in particular instances of media will influence the actions and beliefs of large groups of people.

    How one guy draws Wonder Woman, or how Natalie Portman portrays a character in some shitty movie with the guy from Scrubs, is so incredibly insignificant within the larger scope of sexism as a practiced habit within Western Civilization, that it is really quite silly to even bring them up as examples. Unrealistic ideals in fiction is not a new invention. Maybe it's not the cause of the problem. Maybe it's a symptom. Maybe treating symptoms is the path to hollow victories.

    Yes, we could retcon Juliet into a more active role in the relationship. But...that seems like a very silly approach to the larger problem. Don't misunderstand me. Brave was a cool movie. And, yeah, fostering an environment where strong female leads in movies and books are common is great. But that's not how we eliminate sexism.

    Changing representations of particular sexes / genders in the commodities people buy is an attempt to sell people the idea of equality.

    I don't think we get social equality through the free market.

    _J_ on
    Apothe0sis
  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    There's a difference between "I didn't like this game because the graphics were bad" and "This game's bad graphics are indicative of an industry-wide cancer. We need more games with good graphics and fewer games with bad graphics. Artists who make games with bad graphics should be ashamed of themselves and we should all endeavor only to support games with good graphics."

    I see a little projection in your post and think you might want to look at the two hypothetical criticisms you've listed and ask yourself, honestly, if you represented both sides accurately.

    Regardless of "graphics are bad vs. I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE," let's set that aside for a moment, I don't care that they are different. I want to know why one is OK to discuss critically and one isn't. Graphics are fair game. Story is fair game. Load times are fair game. Weapon realism is fair game. Representation of women is not. Why?

    Because sexism/racism/etc. has baggage that those other categories do not.

    Saying "You wrote a bad story" implies you did an inferior job.
    Saying "You wrote a sexist story" implies that you maligned half of the human race.

    So what do you suggest be done when someone writes a sexist story?

    That depend on a lot of factors.
    Is it real sexism or just perceived sexism?
    Did they knowingly or unknowingly write the sexism?
    Is there a good reason for the sexism?
    Are they acknowledging the sexism or celebrating it?

    There are so many thing to consider that I really doubt I could give you a concise response that wasn't a novel, but mainly charity, lots of charity. Remember that even good people make mistakes, so don't just assume that the author is a sexist scumbag. Pony's story shows that there isn't really a whole they could do without ruining their own story. Assume the best of others until you have proof otherwise.

    I agree.

    But what you seem to be missing is that several people in this thread are against saying anything at all.

    Who is saying that? I don't think anyone is saying that.

    J suggest put it in a book section and nothing else.

    Frankie calls it suppression.

    I think _J_ said that is what he would do but I think he probably believes anyone should be able to criticize art for any reason they want to. I also don't think Frankie would say that you shouldn't be critical, just that the sexism movement can sometimes go past criticism to trying to remove all forms of a particular art style or whatever.

    Until Frankie actually explains any of his beliefs I don't particularly care for your interpretation. By his reasoning I am currently suppressing McDonalds.

    Well there was the long post I made where I explained my beliefs, that's a good place to start. Except oh, you grabbed the last few sentences and tried to exploit an analogy. So yeah.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Again, the sexism is in the frequency geared toward a specific sex or gender. If a game consisted of an equal number of men and women and every single person wore thigh high stilettos of similar design and in the same contexts it would be weird but not sexist. If you have a hundred women in your fiction and one of them dresses in those boots, that isn't automatically sexist.

    Ohmygod we are finally back on track can we keep it this way?

    This is a good way of looking at it. I would say the high heels thing bothers me less in a sexist way and more in a "this is totally unrealistic" way. It takes me out of the story. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't bother me on the basis of gender at all. There's really no male equivalent, short of a fight scene in... underwear I guess?

    Here lies the disconnect.
    Putting men in heels -> wierd
    Putting a women in heels -> sexist
    If you label the Women in Heels trope into an always sexist trope, it becomes a lose/lose for the artist. Are there any situations where you feel the use of heels would not be sexist?

    How about like... any situation where a real life woman would wear them.

    I dunno, I know some people who have made horrible situational footwear choices

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  • Alinius133Alinius133 Registered User regular
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    I would say the same is true of Black Widow as well. She actively uses her sexuality as a weapon, and often uses the fact that she is a woman to trick people into underestimating her. Is that sexist art or just art acknowledging the sexism present in the world?

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    There's a difference between "I didn't like this game because the graphics were bad" and "This game's bad graphics are indicative of an industry-wide cancer. We need more games with good graphics and fewer games with bad graphics. Artists who make games with bad graphics should be ashamed of themselves and we should all endeavor only to support games with good graphics."

    I see a little projection in your post and think you might want to look at the two hypothetical criticisms you've listed and ask yourself, honestly, if you represented both sides accurately.

    Regardless of "graphics are bad vs. I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE," let's set that aside for a moment, I don't care that they are different. I want to know why one is OK to discuss critically and one isn't. Graphics are fair game. Story is fair game. Load times are fair game. Weapon realism is fair game. Representation of women is not. Why?

    Because sexism/racism/etc. has baggage that those other categories do not.

    Saying "You wrote a bad story" implies you did an inferior job.
    Saying "You wrote a sexist story" implies that you maligned half of the human race.

    So what do you suggest be done when someone writes a sexist story?

    That depend on a lot of factors.
    Is it real sexism or just perceived sexism?
    Did they knowingly or unknowingly write the sexism?
    Is there a good reason for the sexism?
    Are they acknowledging the sexism or celebrating it?

    There are so many thing to consider that I really doubt I could give you a concise response that wasn't a novel, but mainly charity, lots of charity. Remember that even good people make mistakes, so don't just assume that the author is a sexist scumbag. Pony's story shows that there isn't really a whole they could do without ruining their own story. Assume the best of others until you have proof otherwise.

    I agree.

    But what you seem to be missing is that several people in this thread are against saying anything at all.

    Who is saying that? I don't think anyone is saying that.

    J suggest put it in a book section and nothing else.

    Frankie calls it suppression.

    I think _J_ said that is what he would do but I think he probably believes anyone should be able to criticize art for any reason they want to. I also don't think Frankie would say that you shouldn't be critical, just that the sexism movement can sometimes go past criticism to trying to remove all forms of a particular art style or whatever.

    Until Frankie actually explains any of his beliefs I don't particularly care for your interpretation. By his reasoning I am currently suppressing McDonalds.

    Well there was the long post I made where I explained my beliefs, that's a good place to start. Except oh, you grabbed the last few sentences and tried to exploit an analogy. So yeah.

    I read all of it.

    Your last few sentences were just a good summary.

    You also haven't answered the question of when I'm suppressing artists.

    Quid on
    Cambiata
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Pony wrote: »
    If you keep putting it as a binary, like there's either nothing you can do or it's some kind of oppressive act, then I can only draw one of two conclusions

    I see what you did there.

    joshofalltradesKristmas KthulhuElvenshaeJulius
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    I would say the same is true of Black Widow as well. She actively uses her sexuality as a weapon, and often uses the fact that she is a woman to trick people into underestimating her. Is that sexist art or just art acknowledging the sexism present in the world?

    Sexist is not "a woman wears a sexy outfit to fight crime."

    Sexist is "women are much more likely to use sexy outfits to fight crime than men are."

    QuidjoshofalltradesKristmas KthulhuCambiataShadowhope
  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    I am also tired of the false dichotomies being presented by several parties, including J and Frankiedarling, where there is simply a binary between "Accepting that sexist art exists and there is nothing you can do about it" and "Actively suppressing sexist art and oppressing the artists who produce it".

    J in particular is a big fan of his bullshit false dichotomies and "Aristotlean" choices that only exist as a binary for his arbitrary reasons without establishing why they must be so. I'm tired of it.

    There is no binary. There is no either or. There is no one or the other. It is a gradient of influence where you can impact the minds and values of other people without oppressing or suppressing anyone.

    This goes back to the very first post I made (the one of substance, anyway, not the one I deleted), which talked about the difference between Censorship, Consumer Awareness, and Artist Awareness. There are some (J is someone I'll single out, but there are others) who consider it all on a singular continuum with censorship, where it's either censorship or irrelevancy, and that's bullshit.

    Using the anecdote I posted as an example of my own experience interacting with a fan who pointed out sexist problems in my own writing, there's an example of what was originally Consumer Awareness (she was trying to talk to other fans about it) and then later Artist Awareness (she reached out to me, the writer). Consumer Awareness had zero traction for her, because the other fans she interacted with didn't see a problem and were unable to separate her considering the character as sexist as calling the entire comic sexist (which was the most common defense being mounted) or that essentially that the fans themselves were somehow sexist for enjoying a comic that she thought had a character in it that was a sexist stereotype.

    So she tried Artist Awareness instead, and contacted me, and even that was only truly effective (because remember, even I got defensive about it initially) after I consulted with peers and had other female writers be like, yeah dogg, this is actually pretty problematic and that character sucks and you shouldn't write characters like that, but what's done is done I guess.

    What was the result? Well, for that individual comic, nothing ultimately. I never really changed the character (because it was a writing issue, not like, how I drew them, because I wasn't the illustrator) and I never really got the chance to like, write them out of the comic for other reasons where I stopped being a part of the series.

    But what was the result for me, as a writer? Well, I never wrote a character like that again, I tell ya what. I also, in general, took a more careful and critical eye to the sort of tropes and archetypes I used in my writing than I was doing before, very specifically for things like not just sexism, but also racism and other forms of discrimination that might not register with me on a conscious level but might sneak into my writing without my intent. After all, I'm a white, cisgender man, it's not exactly hard for me to write a character who is not those things and for me to come across like I'm talking out my ass.

    So it was an experience I grew from, as a writer, and it had a net positive effect on the things I wrote, and although my pop culture relevance is effectively zero (I'm not a professional writer, after all), were that ever to change I'd still be carrying forward that same attitude and the same knowledge.

    Comic book artists like Matt Fraction and game developers like Manveer Heir have similar stories. Stuff that made them stop and go "Huh" about the stuff they were creating and being involved in. Sometimes it was the work of other artists. Sometimes it was outreach from their audience. Sometimes it was the work of activists, including maligned critics and pundits who dare to opine about art and what may be wrong with the cultural impact it is having on people.

    If you keep putting it as a binary, like there's either nothing you can do or it's some kind of oppressive act, then I can only draw one of two conclusions (If, of course, I assume you're arguing in good faith and not just screwing with people for your own amusement, J): Either you're literally incapable of understanding this "hew-mon" concept of nuance, or you're too fucking cowardly to try to address the question on its own terms like it can actually be asked, without histrionically screaming "THEY'RE TRYING TO TAKE OUR VIDEO GAMES"


    I'll be honest Pony, I've had a hard time reply to some of your posts. You seem very ready to to assign labels to people who aren't agreeing, and it's not something I like dealing with on a phone for obvious reasons. I'm also goddamn sick of the thing were those who don't agree with the groupthink are called disingenuous or some such nonsense. It's tiresome. I don't agree with a lot of your stuff or other people's stuff for that matter, but I at least assume you're arguing from a place of sincerity. I don't expect you to reply to my posts, there's a lot of posts by a lot of people, but reading them is generally good. As you so kindly decided to point out to me earlier.

    In your example I find the Consumer Awareness thing awful. Artist Awareness is better, and I guess she got lucky in that she made a point you agreed with. And sure, if that's as far as someone's willing to take it, I say more power to them. That's fine. The consumer awareness thing is what I don't like. You don't like something? Great. Wanna say something? Great. But if that's not enough for you, and you've got to try to round up a posse and get a bunch of people to start putting pressure on an artist to change something you don't like? Nah. Don't have room for that.

    I have not once said you cannot criticize. People like to assign that to my posts because it makes them easier to counter, I guess. But I've never said it. I've talked with people who have had problems with my writing, and my friends have had similar conversations with people who don't like their art. Generally the response is the same: if you don't like it, don't read/view it, and that's an attitude I'll extend to the world in general. Voice a criticism if you want to. Try to talk to the artist. If that stuff doesn't work, walk away. Taking further action is just... kinda appalling.

    _J_
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Voice a criticism if you want to.

    No one said anything beside this. Ever.

    Yet you cry suppression.

    Cambiata
  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    There's a difference between "I didn't like this game because the graphics were bad" and "This game's bad graphics are indicative of an industry-wide cancer. We need more games with good graphics and fewer games with bad graphics. Artists who make games with bad graphics should be ashamed of themselves and we should all endeavor only to support games with good graphics."

    I see a little projection in your post and think you might want to look at the two hypothetical criticisms you've listed and ask yourself, honestly, if you represented both sides accurately.

    Regardless of "graphics are bad vs. I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE," let's set that aside for a moment, I don't care that they are different. I want to know why one is OK to discuss critically and one isn't. Graphics are fair game. Story is fair game. Load times are fair game. Weapon realism is fair game. Representation of women is not. Why?

    Because sexism/racism/etc. has baggage that those other categories do not.

    Saying "You wrote a bad story" implies you did an inferior job.
    Saying "You wrote a sexist story" implies that you maligned half of the human race.

    So what do you suggest be done when someone writes a sexist story?

    That depend on a lot of factors.
    Is it real sexism or just perceived sexism?
    Did they knowingly or unknowingly write the sexism?
    Is there a good reason for the sexism?
    Are they acknowledging the sexism or celebrating it?

    There are so many thing to consider that I really doubt I could give you a concise response that wasn't a novel, but mainly charity, lots of charity. Remember that even good people make mistakes, so don't just assume that the author is a sexist scumbag. Pony's story shows that there isn't really a whole they could do without ruining their own story. Assume the best of others until you have proof otherwise.

    I agree.

    But what you seem to be missing is that several people in this thread are against saying anything at all.

    Who is saying that? I don't think anyone is saying that.

    J suggest put it in a book section and nothing else.

    Frankie calls it suppression.

    I think _J_ said that is what he would do but I think he probably believes anyone should be able to criticize art for any reason they want to. I also don't think Frankie would say that you shouldn't be critical, just that the sexism movement can sometimes go past criticism to trying to remove all forms of a particular art style or whatever.

    Until Frankie actually explains any of his beliefs I don't particularly care for your interpretation. By his reasoning I am currently suppressing McDonalds.

    Well there was the long post I made where I explained my beliefs, that's a good place to start. Except oh, you grabbed the last few sentences and tried to exploit an analogy. So yeah.

    I read all of it.

    Your last few sentences were just a good summary.

    You also haven't answered the question of when I'm suppressing artists.

    If that's what you got out of that whole fucking post, than damn. I'm not sure there's much more I can say on it. Either you absolutely don't get what I'm saying or you disagree to the point where it makes no bloody sense to you.

    As to the question, I'll say it's when you take it beyond individual criticism. Vote with your wallet, never read a comic/watch a movie by the guy or gal again. I don't care. Do whatever you please. But when you take it further and attempt to (by means of social pressure or other) put pressure on an artist, that's suppression. I know you don't like that sort of thing, because I had this exact argument with you about boycotts over the Chic-fil-a thingy. At a certain point, though, I feel you simply have to walk away and find something else to read/watch. Let the people who enjoy it enjoy it. Don't try to ruin it for everyone.

  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Voice a criticism if you want to.

    No one said anything beside this. Ever.

    Yet you cry suppression.

    Well, now we're back to demonstrating harm and doing something to remove said harm. If what you as a moral person are doing to remove/fix what you view as harm falls within the boundaries of what I outlined than we have no quarrel.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Quid on
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  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    I put it to the thread that the majority of the most problematic tropes are, usually, inserted at the behest of business-ass businessmen cynically attempting to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and are rarely the product of the independent, ars gratia artis decisions of the actual content creators. Therefore, levelling criticism and market forces to convince the money side of the equation to stop insisting on such things would simultaneously improve representation in media and increase the freedom of the artists.

    I have no empirical evidence to base this on, merely my intuition; if anyone has such evidence, either for or against it, I would welcome it very much.

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  • Alinius133Alinius133 Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    I would say the same is true of Black Widow as well. She actively uses her sexuality as a weapon, and often uses the fact that she is a woman to trick people into underestimating her. Is that sexist art or just art acknowledging the sexism present in the world?

    Sexist is not "a woman wears a sexy outfit to fight crime."

    Sexist is "women are much more likely to use sexy outfits to fight crime than men are."

    Great, but you didn't really answer my question. I am talking about female heros who are using societies negative perception of women in general to their benefit. How would you invert or gender reverse the trope? How would a man use the sexism inherent in our society to fight crime?

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    As to the question, I'll say it's when you take it beyond individual criticism. Vote with your wallet, never read a comic/watch a movie by the guy or gal again. I don't care. Do whatever you please. But when you take it further and attempt to (by means of social pressure or other) put pressure on an artist, that's suppression. I know you don't like that sort of thing, because I had this exact argument with you about boycotts over the Chic-fil-a thingy. At a certain point, though, I feel you simply have to walk away and find something else to read/watch. Let the people who enjoy it enjoy it. Don't try to ruin it for everyone.

    I think what you want to say is: "But when you take it further and attempt to (by means of social pressure or other) put pressure on an artist, through influencing the actions of others via public action, boycotts, etc."

    Is that what you mean?

    Not buying food at McDonalds is fine.
    Trying to convince other people to not buy food at McDonalds is suppression.

  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Now who's talking in binary.

    I'm not crazy, and I'm all for individual liberty. If you as a person decide to quietly not buy my stuff anymore, that's acceptable pressure. If you decide to up and organize a bunch of people to not buy my stuff, well that's a different story.

  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    _J_ wrote: »
    As to the question, I'll say it's when you take it beyond individual criticism. Vote with your wallet, never read a comic/watch a movie by the guy or gal again. I don't care. Do whatever you please. But when you take it further and attempt to (by means of social pressure or other) put pressure on an artist, that's suppression. I know you don't like that sort of thing, because I had this exact argument with you about boycotts over the Chic-fil-a thingy. At a certain point, though, I feel you simply have to walk away and find something else to read/watch. Let the people who enjoy it enjoy it. Don't try to ruin it for everyone.

    I think what you want to say is: "But when you take it further and attempt to (by means of social pressure or other) put pressure on an artist, through influencing the actions of others via public action, boycotts, etc."

    Is that what you mean?

    Not buying food at McDonalds is fine.
    Trying to convince other people to not buy food at McDonalds is suppression.

    Thank you, friendly robot. This phone is nonsense for making my points. I'm too elaborate for my own good.

    But yes. That position can be argued, obviously, but that's just about where I stand.

    Frankiedarling on
    _J_
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Now who's talking in binary.

    I'm not crazy, and I'm all for individual liberty. If you as a person decide to quietly not buy my stuff anymore, that's acceptable pressure. If you decide to up and organize a bunch of people to not buy my stuff, well that's a different story.

    Who suggested the bolded again?

    Harry Dresden
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Now who's talking in binary.

    I'm not crazy, and I'm all for individual liberty. If you as a person decide to quietly not buy my stuff anymore, that's acceptable pressure. If you decide to up and organize a bunch of people to not buy my stuff, well that's a different story.

    Who suggested the bolded again?
    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.

    It isn't trying to organize a boycott, but it is an attempt to modify the actions of others, which is a kind of suppression. Feel free to go out and write a fleshed out character, but don't tell Will Wheaton that he ought to.

    Is I assume what Frankiedarling would say.

  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Now who's talking in binary.

    I'm not crazy, and I'm all for individual liberty. If you as a person decide to quietly not buy my stuff anymore, that's acceptable pressure. If you decide to up and organize a bunch of people to not buy my stuff, well that's a different story.

    Who suggested the bolded again?

    I'm giving you an example. So you know where I stand. On the issue. You should now have an idea of my perimeters. How do you feel about them>

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Now who's talking in binary.

    I'm not crazy, and I'm all for individual liberty. If you as a person decide to quietly not buy my stuff anymore, that's acceptable pressure. If you decide to up and organize a bunch of people to not buy my stuff, well that's a different story.

    Who suggested the bolded again?

    I'm giving you an example. So you know where I stand. On the issue. You should now have an idea of my perimeters. How do you feel about them>

    I'm against blindly murdering feminists personally.

  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Using your wallet puts pressure on the artist, Frankie.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Now who's talking in binary.

    I'm not crazy, and I'm all for individual liberty. If you as a person decide to quietly not buy my stuff anymore, that's acceptable pressure. If you decide to up and organize a bunch of people to not buy my stuff, well that's a different story.
    So the concept of a boycott is to you an organized suppression effort?

    Quid
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    She does use her curves and cleavage to her advantage during fights. But then, it's not like she zips up her front when she's in a casual setting, either.

    Unfaircatwoman_zps37ab62e4.jpg

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Alinius133 wrote: »
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    I would say the same is true of Black Widow as well. She actively uses her sexuality as a weapon, and often uses the fact that she is a woman to trick people into underestimating her. Is that sexist art or just art acknowledging the sexism present in the world?

    Sexist is not "a woman wears a sexy outfit to fight crime."

    Sexist is "women are much more likely to use sexy outfits to fight crime than men are."

    Great, but you didn't really answer my question. I am talking about female heros who are using societies negative perception of women in general to their benefit. How would you invert or gender reverse the trope? How would a man use the sexism inherent in our society to fight crime?

    I did actually!

    The notion that women can't be seduced is completely out of touch with reality!

    I guess if you wanted to subvert it you could use how seduction actually works, such as a woman who is much more physically average seducing someone, or a man using the notion that men can't seduce to his benefit.

    "Honest Dr. Doom, I'm a man, I can't possibly seduce your daughter!"

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The notion that women can't be seduced is completely out of touch with reality!

    Ok, now you're talking nonsense.

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    I haven't read any Catwoman (haven't read comics in a long while) but isn't part of her actual character that she has intentional sex appeal, that she decided upon, and uses it purposefully to seduce people?

    Because seduction is a real thing that people attempt, so unrealistic drawings and body proportions/poses aside, there's a justification to sexualize that character.

    Right, the problem is the unnecessary sexualization becomes de rigueur

    Like, okay, male superheroes are buff as fuck. Even ones that... kinda... don't have to be?

    Here's a picture of Cyclops. This isn't like, some weird picture of 1990's era Cyclops, this is current Cyclops from the current comics:
    Marvel_now_cyclops.jpeg

    Why the hell is Cyclops so fuckin' swole?

    He is Death Beams From My Eyes Man. That is his superpower. Everyone knows that. Cyclops looks at you and you either fuckin' die or at the very least you have a really bad time. So why is he ripped to shreds like that? Why is that necessary for a guy who the muscular extent of his superpower use involves blinking?

    Well, because he's a superhero, is why. Now, there are diegetic reasons for why Cyclops is so fuckin' swole. Dude is a martial arts expert and an incredible hand to hand combat because like, sometimes his powers don't work and he doesn't want to have the "hammer problem" ("when all you have is a hammer, all you see are nails") with his power and he needs alternatives. And in general, dude just takes care of himself. Maybe there's a bit of vanity in there too, you could read that a little bit if you like.

    But that's all excuses. Cyclops actually used to have the nickname "Slim" in the comics because he used to be drawn as kind of a skinny dude because again, Death Beams From My Eyes Man. That has changed over time, and not really for diegetic reasons. That changed for artistic reasons, because artists wanted to draw him as being ripped as fuck, because he's a superhero and male superheroes are ripped! They just are! Even guys who just shoot eye beams!

    So is Cyclops unnecessarily sexualized, is that what I am getting at here? Is this somehow not sexist because it applies to male characters too? NO.

    Cyclops got swole because of sexist bullshit that still plagues superhero comics turning them into juvenile male power fantasies in the minds of the people drawing them. Cyclops isn't unnecessarily sexualized, Cyclops is unnecessarily masculinized. Some people might be into that, but that in and of itself is not evidence of sexualization because making Cyclops sexy is not the point of why he looks like that. Cyclops looks like that to make him look powerful. You aren't meant to want to fuck Cyclops, you're meant to want to be Cyclops. They're power fantasies, the lot of them, that's how they are drawn. Nevermind whether or not you'd actually like to be Cyclops, or have that body, yourself. That's what's going on there.

    Now, by comparison, let's look at another X-Men character. Again, this is current stuff, not weird bullshit from comic history. This is Ilyana Rasputin, aka Magik:
    tumblr_mgu2qjr2Dw1r05piso1_1280.jpg

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Alright look we're not going to talk about the giant stupid anime sword. That is literally magical and it's outside this conversation and just, nevermind. Let's focus on Magik herself and how she looks for a second, in contrast to Cyclops, yeah?

    Does she look powerful to you? Does she look like a woman's power fantasy? Because it sure as fuck don't look like it to me. It's not just her costume, which is a problem in and of itself, because hey, lots of male superhero costumes are revealing (Namor barely fucking wears anything at all!). It's not just her proportions, which are complete nonsense (because you could nitpick like fuck over Cyclops' proportions in that picture). Let's get nitty gritty here, and look at her musculature.

    How much y'all know about musculature? Some? None at all? I know some, so I'm a talk a bit at you about it. The physique Cyclops is given in the image I posted is one of strength. He has low body fat percentage, high muscle density, he's got some tautness going on there. Dude is ready to fucking rumble, he's built like a fucking pro kickboxer. Nevermind that his abs aren't... exactly... realistic, the artist was clearly going for something and I get what they were trying to go for. They wanted to portray a dude who was physically powerful, or at least the artist's idea of what physically powerful looks like.

    Now, back to Magik. Let me toss on my Bane mask and ask you does she feel in charge? Look at those abs. Or more accurately, look at the lack of them. She's just got this sort of little line going on suggesting that sexy little ab canyon that a lot female superheroes got going on (see also: basically any picture of Supergirl in the last ten years) that real women kinda don't actually have unless they exclusively focus on weight loss and "toning" exercises that just burn body fat and don't actually build efficient, dense muscle worth a fuck.

    And that's the body she has. One that is sexy but not worth a fuck in a fight. Because she's a sex-thing. She's not meant to be a power fantasy, she's a sex object. You're not meant to want to be her, you're meant to want to fuck her. Whether you do or not is irrelevant, again, that's what's going on here.

    Before anyone even tries to claim that this is somehow okay because Magik is... well, magic and therefore doesn't need to have a rumble-ready power body, again I remind you that neither does fucking Cyclops. Cyclops actually has zero reason to be swole as he is, whereas Magik primarily fights with that giant as fuck sword of hers, which magical non-weight or whatever notwithstanding, would still suggest she'd look less like a runway model and more like someone with actual muscles right? Even if they have superpowers?

    And like you said, it would be one thing if a character's sexuality is a component of who that character is, which for Catwoman or say (again to use an X-Men example) Emma Frost, it absolutely is

    like I actually don't mind that Emma Frost dresses like she do, she Emma Frost, that how she do

    but Magik is a demon-fightin' sword-wielding bad-ass who traverses dimensions and shit. She doesn't seduce people or make sexiness a part of her interactions. In fact I'm trying to think of a romantic interest for Magik and I'm coming up empty!

    she gets sexualized anyway

    because comic books, is why

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