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Community => General Discussion => Topic started by: TheFrighter on 16 Jan 2021, 17:44

Title: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 16 Jan 2021, 17:44

The "Bechdel test" was originally a joke in the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For  from the 1985:

(https://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/the-bechdel-test.jpg)

Despite the satirical intent this test is actually used in media fiction industry to measure the gender discrimination... or so they say.

Of course there are a lot of inequality in the world, so there are other tests of this kind:
https://lifehacker.com/the-bechdel-test-and-other-media-representation-tests-1819324045
https://www.the-unedit.com/posts/2018/8/20/7-tests-that-arent-the-bechdel-test-that-measure-movies-for-gender-equality-and-representation

This stuff seems just sociobabbling (and sometime it is) but someone in Hollywoodland take it seriously.

Those tests could be applied for other media, so also for videogames.


Have you ever used this kind of analysis when you write games? Do you think those are useful at least for commercial videogames?

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 16 Jan 2021, 18:20
I have another test: if the game or movie is about space travel in the future, at least some of the characters should not be Americans (or at least have names which do not look like "common american name").

I mean, they could do it with Jean Luc Picard :).
... and also the woman politician from "Expanse" (whom I subjectively found the only likeable character in the series lol)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 16 Jan 2021, 20:54
I have another test: if the game or movie is about space travel in the future, at least some of the characters should not be Americans (or at least have names which do not look like "common american name").

I mean, they could do it with Jean Luc Picard :).
... and also the woman politician from "Expanse" (whom I subjectively found the only likeable character in the series lol)
That's a great point, especially when the space crew is supposed to be representing the population of Earth as a whole, it comes across as weird when everybody is coded as English/American.
...

Personally, while I think it's a useful starting point, I'm less concerned about making media pass the Bechdel test and more concerned about avoiding tropes like Women in Refrigerators (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators), and just gratuitous scenes of female characters being tortured and killed in general. I actually got inspired to try and come up with a different test after seeing a particularly frustrating story where basically all the main female characters either got killed in a sadistic manner, sexually assaulted, or only existed for fanservice, and I just felt so tired and angry at not being able to just see an exciting story without constantly having to worry about seeing gross and nasty scenes of misogynistic violence, so I tried to draw a short comic expressing my feelings on the matter, that also served as a test similar to the Bechdel test with three basic criteria for me to want to see a film:
Spoiler: ShowHide
(https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/4638b4bf-a698-40cb-aae1-7f18d42a352b/ddj0iyv-b9e75cc3-3836-4041-9042-f0207e13db3c.png/v1/fill/w_989,h_808,q_70,strp/comic_about_movie_test_by_blondbraid_ddj0iyv-pre.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3siaGVpZ2h0IjoiPD0xMDQ1IiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvNDYzOGI0YmYtYTY5OC00MGNiLWFhZTEtN2YxOGQ0MmEzNTJiXC9kZGowaXl2LWI5ZTc1Y2MzLTM4MzYtNDA0MS05MDQyLWYwMjA3ZTEzZGIzYy5wbmciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9MTI4MCJ9XV0sImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl19.xGJsoamJ8zQYYVs7bdOVlDxMhM4H_Q1-3bE52slXprY)
I will admit that I was pretty angry when I drew this a while ago, but I do still wish there were more films that passed the criteria I set up.  :-\
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 17 Jan 2021, 17:33
I have another test: if the game or movie is about space travel in the future, at least some of the characters should not be Americans (or at least have names which do not look like "common american name").

This is true also for european sci-fi movies, for example in Luc Besson's the characters are americans. Despite the fact that Europe have its Space Agency since 1975.
About videogames, I remember in Martian Gothic: Unification one of the main charachters is japanese, and also the crew is multietnic.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 17 Jan 2021, 17:58
Personally I see the Bechdel test as more of a rule of thumb for competence than equality or anything like that. Despite how other people may see it.
You see, a creative writer will have a wide variety of characters. A talentless hack will just write copies of themself and one-dimensional characters. Assuming the majority of writers are white males (a bold assumption, I know), that would mean that the majority of talentless hacks will have their works star nothing but white males, and the only characters that aren't a white male will only be made to fufill a one-dimensional stereotype needed for that story.

As a talentless hack myself, I feel that sums up all of my stuff quite well.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 17 Jan 2021, 18:15
I just felt so tired and angry at not being able to just see an exciting story without constantly having to worry about seeing gross and nasty scenes of misogynistic violence

Weird, I don't remember ever having this issue. I feel like there have always been plenty of stories around where men get treated at least as badly as women. Maybe you watch too much anime? :)

I like George R. R. Martin's take: just write women as if they were people (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGmctvlITtI&ab_channel=AegonTargaryen). Controversial, I know.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 17 Jan 2021, 22:31
Weird, I don't remember ever having this issue. I feel like there have always been plenty of stories around where men get treated at least as badly as women. Maybe you watch too much anime? :)

I like George R. R. Martin's take: just write women as if they were people (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGmctvlITtI&ab_channel=AegonTargaryen). Controversial, I know.
I really hope you didn't mean to come across as so arrogant as you sound like in your reply, but I've literally seen exactly the same arguments coming from different guys almost a hundred times by now, and it's galling to have to explain this over and over again.

If it wasn't clear enough in the comic I posted, I'm not saying I'm against women in fiction suffering any trauma ever, what I'm specifically railing against are gratuitous scenes of sexual violence, rape, and women being tortured just because they are women, and this phenomenon is very much not seen in male characters in any mainstream media, and the few times the rape of a man is shown, the work quickly becomes infamous for showing something so horrific to male viewers. I ask, would you feel comfortable watching the scene where Ned Beatty is violated by the villains in Deliverance? And even if you personally would be, would you expect the broad majority of other men to be ok with having to watch such scenes?

And I've virtually avoided all anime, but it's not like it's easy to avoid this stuff in other media. According to the site Unconsenting media (https://www.unconsentingmedia.org/), only about 26% of TV-series doesn't feature rape or sexual assault.

And while there are worse authors at writing women, George R. R. Martin is a terrible example to bring up in this discussion considering how criticized he's been for not only including several hundred instances of female characters being raped, often in a manner that bears little to no matter to the plot, victims reduced to "background flavor" so to speak, he's also been criticized for describing female character's bodies in a voyeuristic manner even when they're meant to be through the perspective of the woman the body belongs to. I'm seriously perplexed you managed to miss this whole discussion when the TV-series aired, and I could easily link to dozens of essays written on the subject, but I'll limit myself to one, you can read it here. (https://tafkarfanfic.tumblr.com/post/119891015455/a-song-of-ice-and-fire-has-a-rape-problem)

I don't have infinite time and energy to explain why this matters so much, not just to me but to so many other women as well, so I hope you can forgive me if I'd rather link to a blog post that explains all this pretty well.
Here is a link, I hope you can take the time to read it. (http://www.feminisms.org/5844/using-rape-as-a-plot-device/index.html)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 18 Jan 2021, 00:20
I really hope you didn't mean to come across as so arrogant as you sound like in your reply, but I've literally seen exactly the same arguments coming from different guys almost a hundred times by now, and it's galling to have to explain this over and over again.

Yeah, I see how that could have come across as arrogant - and it was a little bit, but towards anime fans (sorry! ;)). I genuinely tried to recall any misogynistic rape/torture scenes I've seen and struggled to do so, while scenes of people (mostly men) being murdered in various ways popped up in my head one after another, and so I felt you were exaggerating. Although to be fair, it's pretty much always men committing the violence, regardless of the gender of the victim. Which mirrors real-world statistics I'm afraid.

In any case, I could be wrong. If you want, I can try to list the last 10 movies / TV shows I've watched and you point out the violence against women that you see in those. I'm not saying rape scenes aren't nasty, and yes, when they are there, women are almost exclusively the victims - we can discuss why that is. They just don't seem nearly as ever-present to me... except for anime ;). And dark crime dramas. And... ok, maybe I'm starting to see your point :).

As for Martin, do you disagree with the idea that universal personality traits are more important than the character being male or female? That was my main point. About the other issues with his writing, I read the essay you linked and I'm afraid I can't contribute anything that hasn't been said a thousand times already (objections that came to mind while reading were often mentioned in the following sentence), so I'll spare you further frustration :). Maybe just one question: is the implication supposed to be that Martin is a misogynist?

EDIT: This might be hard to believe, but I didn't realize you were a woman until your last post - for some reason, "Blondbraid" made me think of a Viking beard or something :). So here's a question: is it wrong if that changes how I read your posts on this topic? Because I have to admit it does a bit, which makes my whole "gender isn't important" spiel sound somewhat hypocritical ;). I'm conflicted!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 18 Jan 2021, 11:40
Yeah, I see how that could have come across as arrogant - and it was a little bit, but towards anime fans (sorry! ;)). I genuinely tried to recall any misogynistic rape/torture scenes I've seen and struggled to do so, while scenes of people (mostly men) being murdered in various ways popped up in my head one after another, and so I felt you were exaggerating. Although to be fair, it's pretty much always men committing the violence, regardless of the gender of the victim. Which mirrors real-world statistics I'm afraid.
Yeah, I'm really not surprised, like I've said before, lot's of men don't get it, and I've seen dozens of other guys do exactly the same mistake before. Men being killed in action scenes is not the same as a helpless victim being raped, I know several men who are perfectly fine watching James Bond movies and films like Saving Private Ryan but visibly recoil at the mere suggestion of watching Pulp fiction or Deliverance, not because they are more violent, but because they show men being raped, and it's frustrating how many men get this when it comes to male viewers but can't understand women feel the same on depictions of female characters. Like, I'm fine watching Lara Croft and similar female action heroes get shot at, risk death in ancient death traps, and fight female opponents, but this article pissed me off (https://kotaku.com/youll-want-to-protect-the-new-less-curvy-lara-croft-5917400).
In any case, I could be wrong. If you want, I can try to list the last 10 movies / TV shows I've watched and you point out the violence against women that you see in those.
Well, I think searching their titles on Unconsenting Media (https://www.unconsentingmedia.org/) might be a better idea. Granted, not all movies and TV-series has been added to their database, but most mainstream works can be found there. From my experience, their statistics are a pretty good representation of mainstream TV.
Maybe just one question: is the implication supposed to be that Martin is a misogynist?
Personally, no, I don't think Martin intended to be misogynistic, however, I think he makes a common mistake lots of male writers do in thinking that merely showing tons of gruesome violent acts against women counts as a good criticism of misogyny and woman-hating. However, firstly, many men fail to understand that sexual violence isn't the same as fantasy violence, as author Chuck Wendig (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/05/21/your-defense-of-that-rape-scene-makes-you-sound-kinda-gross/) puts it;
Quote
If I were to sit in a room full of 100 people, how many of them do you think have been beheaded, cock-chopped, throat-slit, war-murdered, skull-asploded, and so on, and so forth?
Probably none.
Except Gary. Poor Gary.
But how many do you think might’ve undergone sexual assault or rape?
That’s a higher number, innit?
Secondly, more often than not, throwing in scenes of sexual violence normalizes it to the viewers, and rather than thinking it's wrong, many viewers start thinking it's normal, and looking at the Game of Thrones discourse, I've seen an alarming number of people defend the rape scenes using similar arguments used against real-life victims! There have even been scientific studies showing rather disturbing connections between watching films with sexist violence on screen, and increased victim-blaming in the audience. (https://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/28/science/violence-against-women-in-films.html?sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all)
EDIT: This might be hard to believe, but I didn't realize you were a woman until your last post - for some reason, "Blondbraid" made me think of a Viking beard or something :). So here's a question: is it wrong if that changes how I read your posts on this topic? Because I have to admit it does a bit, which makes my whole "gender isn't important" spiel sound somewhat hypocritical ;). I'm conflicted!
Okay, this is actually the first thing you've written here that did surprise me! Years ago, when I first discussed different ideas for a username with my mom, she told me "Blondbraid" was rather feminine and it might risk getting associated with bimbo /barbie stereotypes, so I didn't think of it that way. As for your question, I'd say it's complicated because as much as I'd like to be judged as a person rather than being judged for my gender, I think it's wrong to deny one's sex and gender strongly colors one's experiences and outlook on the world, because I certainly read your replies seeing you as a man and with the perspective that many men never have to think about such matters unless someone brings it up to them, and while I think that the advice to write women as people isn't wrong per sé, I've seen plenty of male writers fall into the trap of writing women like men who just look like women, because in their eyes, a well-rounded human being = man. It's similar to video games where you can choose the gender of the hero, but if you choose to play as a woman you get a female hero who visits strip clubs, participates in all-male sports tournaments, and has a bunch of female NPCs otherwise portrayed as straight suddenly fawn over her, none of which is particularly relatable to most women.  :-\
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 18 Jan 2021, 15:01
Quote
Years ago, when I first discussed different ideas for a username with my mom, she told me "Blondbraid" was rather feminine and it might risk getting associated with bimbo /barbie stereotypes, so I didn't think of it that way.

Yeah, it seems pretty obvious in hindsight. But I swear, that "arrogant" post, that was you being treated like a man ;). I guess because it rhymes with Bluebeard? It's a captain's name!

(https://i.ibb.co/7NxK1mK/blondbraid.png)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 18 Jan 2021, 15:13
Quote
Years ago, when I first discussed different ideas for a username with my mom, she told me "Blondbraid" was rather feminine and it might risk getting associated with bimbo /barbie stereotypes, so I didn't think of it that way.

Yeah, it seems pretty obvious in hindsight. But I swear, that "arrogant" post, that was you being treated like a man ;). I guess because it rhymes with Bluebeard? It's a captain's name!
Well, you proabably should think over how you treat men in that case!   :-\

But I gotta say that's a pretty awesome illustration!  8-0
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 18 Jan 2021, 16:46
This might be hard to believe, but I didn't realize you were a woman until your last post - for some reason, "Blondbraid" made me think of a Viking beard or something :).
Heh, same here. I remember when I first figured out Blondbraid was a woman. (laugh)
The username really does make you think of a viking beard. Or maybe a viking ponytail.  (nod)

Also, I have a question somewhat based on this discussion.
Why do males have to be displayed as masculine and females have to be displayed as feminine, for it to count as those genders being properly represented?
Why can't a man be feminine and a woman be masculine? What even constitutes as being masculine and feminine anyway? Aren't those purely cultural concepts? Aren't we forcing genders into stereotypes by "properly" representing them in this way?

Also, why do people feel the need for a character to share either their gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation for them to be relatable? I can think of countless media where I relate to a character that's nothing like me, either because their personality is similar to mine, their goals, or the situations they've found themselves in. To be honest, I can't think of a single character that I've found relatable simply because he's a straight white male.

Lastly, why do people feel the need to relate to a character in order to enjoy them? Plenty of people seem to enjoy Kirby, yet I highly doubt anyone relates to Kirby.  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 18 Jan 2021, 17:17

Speaking of videogames, I think that the first game that could pass the test is Maniac Mansion.  :)

x1 x2 x4 x8


Well, also The Secret of Monkey Island but I'm not sure of this...  :-\
_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 18 Jan 2021, 17:29
Heh, same here. I remember when I first figured out Blondbraid was a woman. (laugh)
The username really does make you think of a viking beard. Or maybe a viking ponytail.  (nod)

Also, I have a question somewhat based on this discussion.
Why do males have to be displayed as masculine and females have to be displayed as feminine, for it to count as those genders being properly represented?
Why can't a man be feminine and a woman be masculine? What even constitutes as being masculine and feminine anyway? Aren't those purely cultural concepts? Aren't we forcing genders into stereotypes by "properly" representing them in this way?

Also, why do people feel the need for a character to share either their gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation for them to be relatable? I can think of countless media where I relate to a character that's nothing like me, either because their personality is similar to mine, their goals, or the situations they've found themselves in. To be honest, I can't think of a single character that I've found relatable simply because he's a straight white male.

Lastly, why do people feel the need to relate to a character in order to enjoy them? Plenty of people seem to enjoy Kirby, yet I highly doubt anyone relates to Kirby.  (laugh)

A while back, I tricked my brain into assuming everyone online was female unless mentioned otherwise. Only time that's run me afoul is when I interacted with trans men  :=

As for my relatively uneducated understanding of your questions:
Men don't HAVE to be displayed as masculine, as far as I've seen. You have people like Guybrush, you have people like Conan the Barbarian, you have people like Gordon Freeman, you have people like Ben from Full Throttle, you have Mario, Wario, Luigi and Waluigi.
But when you come to female characters, you have Princess Peach, or Princess Daisy. Or Pauline. Or Elaine. Or Lara Croft. Even in games lauded for having deep and well-rounded female characters, they don't seem to dare deviating from a certain femininity. I haven't played the game (and I doubt I will, I wasn't too fond of the first game's gameplay), but I read about how gamers went apoplectic about a beefy, butch female lead in The Last of Us 2.

And characters don't have to share my gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, but the incredible lack of major characters that step outside of a very specific combination of those traits makes it somewhat notable. I feel it is more something to look up to- for example, sure, everyone can look up to and aspire to be Superman, but the incredible lack of black superheroes made it so that when one did come to the mainstream, it was a cultural touchstone (especially for black communities and black kids).

Try to imagine a world where almost every major character was a queer trans east-asian. Sure, you'd relate to characters in their motivations and their goals and their actions, but when the occasional (insert own combination of those traits) character showed up in mainstream media, especially if it was well done, you'd probably have a bit more of an affinity for that character.

Finally, I've never played a Kirby game for any extended period of time, but the one I have (on the Switch?) make it seem more like I am controlling the character rather than inhabiting it. Now if you ask about speedy blue hedgehogs, woah, yeah...I definitely relate to the need for speed weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeh....spinspinspin....ringringring
*Babar hums the Green Hill Zone tune to himself
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 18 Jan 2021, 17:54
This might be hard to believe, but I didn't realize you were a woman until your last post - for some reason, "Blondbraid" made me think of a Viking beard or something :).
Heh, same here. I remember when I first figured out Blondbraid was a woman. (laugh)
The username really does make you think of a viking beard. Or maybe a viking ponytail.  (nod)
Well, Mulan was my favourite Disney princess growing up.  (roll)
Quote
Also, I have a question somewhat based on this discussion.
Why do males have to be displayed as masculine and females have to be displayed as feminine, for it to count as those genders being properly represented?
Why can't a man be feminine and a woman be masculine? What even constitutes as being masculine and feminine anyway? Aren't those purely cultural concepts? Aren't we forcing genders into stereotypes by "properly" representing them in this way?
Well, I think there is a misunderstanding in this discussion because I certainly think you can write a female character without any surface trappings of femininity (like feminine clothes or doing feminine jobs) and still make her a believable character. I think the problem is that even if a woman chooses not to conform to femininity, you're still socialized as a woman and has a woman's body will approach several situations differently from a man. For example, when I was growing up, I was the only girl in my class who played video games, and even when I played alone in my room, I could feel weird for wanting to try Call of Duty, and only seeing men in that game, I constantly felt reminded that it wasn't made for me and I was some random anomaly for liking it, so even when I've done things not typically associated with femininity, I've still been aware that I'm a woman and that a man's experience of the same thing would be different.

If I could come with a non-gender example, imagine an American person writing about someone in Europe just as they would write an American, and have this European character do American stuff like thinking of politics in a Republican/Democrat divide, or tape their trashcan lid shut in order to prevent raccoons and opossums from digging into it, even if the American author tried to write the European as a well-rounded person and tried avoiding making them a national stereotype, it'd still feel weird if they didn't take these the differences between nationalities into account, right?
I hope this helps explain things, in addition to the good explanation Babar already gave.

Also, with Kirby, he's a weird pink blob, and I say people will have a lot more suspension of disbelief when it comes to non-human cartoon characters. But if you set out to create a character meant to be an average "everyman", and they are supposed to be somewhat realistic humans, people will expect them to be relatable to a higher degree. And I don't think characters have to be relatable in the sense that they have the same personality like me, but they do need to be relatable in the sense that you can tell why they are feeling the feelings they feel or take different actions throughout their story.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 18 Jan 2021, 19:56
It sounds like the overall answer to my questions, is that because some people are unable to see things from another person's perspective, they assume that others can't see things from their perspective.

Also, for the record, my sister also grew up with games, and I asked her, and she really didn't give a crap about the male orientation in them back then or even now.
I'm not sure whether my sister's experience or Blondbraid's experience is the norm. If I had to take a guess, probably Blondbraid's. But it's all anecdotal anyway.

That all being said, I can't help but feel as though there's something incorrect about this whole discussion.  :-\



One last thing:
And I don't think characters have to be relatable in the sense that they have the same personality like me, but they do need to be relatable in the sense that you can tell why they are feeling the feelings they feel or take different actions throughout their story.
I'm the same.  (nod)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 18 Jan 2021, 20:34
It sounds like the overall answer to my questions, is that because some people are unable to see things from another person's perspective, they assume that others can't see things from their perspective.

Also, for the record, my sister also grew up with games, and I asked her, and she really didn't give a crap about the male orientation in them back then or even now.
I'm not sure whether my sister's experience or Blondbraid's experience is the norm. If I had to take a guess, probably Blondbraid's. But it's all anecdotal anyway.

That all being said, I can't help but feel as though there's something incorrect about this whole discussion.  :-\
Well, I find this hard to explain too, but there is an entire subreddit dedicated to men writing women poorly (https://www.reddit.com/r/menwritingwomen/). Not that there aren't bad female authors, but I've never heard of a female author who wrote okay female characters but struggled writing a believable male character, or skipped out on writing male characters altogether.

As for your sister, if there's any chance she grew up gaming together with you, chances are that having someone else to play male-geared games together with contributed to her not feeling left out in the same way I did, but if not, it'd be interesting to hear more of her perspective.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 18 Jan 2021, 23:06
But I gotta say that's a pretty awesome illustration!  8-0

Then take it as a peace offering. I see your points, especially this is interesting:

There have even been scientific studies showing rather disturbing connections between watching films with sexist violence on screen, and increased victim-blaming in the audience. (https://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/28/science/violence-against-women-in-films.html?sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all)

Are there studies post 1984 replicating the results? Metastudies comparing it to the influence of other types of violence in media and desensitization to violence in general? I would never have imagined that a significant number of men (30%?!) get aroused by slashers of all things. I'd also assume that if rape is used for shock value or to make a villain particularly disgusting, it must be because it's seen as horrible, not that it makes it look less horrible.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 19 Jan 2021, 00:15
But I gotta say that's a pretty awesome illustration!  8-0

Then take it as a peace offering. I see your points, especially this is interesting:
How nice of you, would it be OK if I put it in my banner?
Are there studies post 1984 replicating the results? Metastudies comparing it to the influence of other types of violence in media and desensitization to violence in general? I would never have imagined that a significant number of men (30%?!) get aroused by slashers of all things. I'd also assume that if rape is used for shock value or to make a villain particularly disgusting, it must be because it's seen as horrible, not that it makes it look less horrible. What the... ?!
I'm afraid I don't have any similar studies I've read in full on hand, but I do know one of the researchers conducting the study, Neil Malamuth, did a lot of reasearch in the same field after the 1980s study; https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=DJ7AWaoAAAAJ&hl=en

As for authors using it for shock value and show villains doing it, the sad fact is that even if the act is portrayed as evil, it's still normalizing it, and by treating it as a normal and logical consequence of male frustration, it makes it easier to blame victims for a danger people think they should have seen coming. It's similar to the quote "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of a million is a statistic", if you've seen graphic depictions of something a dozen times, many people simply stop being shocked and disgusted by it.

And sadly, I'm not surprised so many men got aroused by Slashers, because in most such films, the victims are almost always played by conventionally attractive women and displayed in a sexual manner,
and there is a study showing objectified images of women makes it harder for viewers brains to differentiate between living people and objects (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3801174/).  >:(
It's a lengthy text, but there's a short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIhsEImQRUQ) recapping the findings.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 19 Jan 2021, 00:32
I don't think you can compare rape with murder/violence. No one is traumatised by an Agatha Christie, or disturbed by a Jackie Chan film. Murder can be a subject for light-hearted, lurid fun in a way that sexual crimes can't (at least, responsibly). 

The argument that rape happens in real life, and fiction should reflect that could be more persuasive, except that the refrigerator trope isn't about realistic depictions of sexual violence. It's about using the abuse of a female character as a plot device to (e.g.) establish the villainy of the bad guy and provide the male protagonist with an impetus to action. Princess Leia's slave costume couldn't be a clearer example. I'm sure there are people of all sexes and genders who love the outfit, but it's obvious the scene is inviting the viewer to be aroused by Leia's peril at least as much as to empathise with her.

It's not that these tropes make any particular film bad. It's that they demonstrate a pattern in the stories we tell. Also, avoiding these tropes doesn't necessarily place subjects off-limits. The Netflix series Unbelievable is a compelling true story about rape, and the way womens' trauma can be compounded by the police.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 19 Jan 2021, 01:49
I don't think you can compare rape with murder/violence. No one is traumatised by an Agatha Christie, or disturbed by a Jackie Chan film. Murder can be a subject for light-hearted, lurid fun in a way that sexual crimes can't (at least, responsibly). 

Is not it a curious and strange thing, in terms of human psychology? And I actually wonder how people's acception of murder in media may be affected by the media culture of certain society.
For instance, I was a kid in USSR, and in our film and television the murder was something very rare, and very rarely depicted in detail. Death in combat was a norm because of the multitude of war movies (which we had quite a lot), but it was never lighthearted obviously. And ofcourse that would be unimaginable to see something like Arnold Schwarzenegger's action film where he kills 100 men with a machine gun like it was a joke, let alone something like a slasher movie. Too bad I hardly remember myself in my childhood, so it's difficult to imagine what would be my impression on movies that I watch today.
EDIT: then around 1990 we started to watch pirated VHS movies. I think at first it was a weird impression.


By the way, speaking of comparison between people getting killed and people getting sexually or otherwise humiliated, I wanted to add this example that a lot of young boys, at least of my generation, were not opposed to the idea of "dying heroically" for whatever cause seem just, or withstand a "torture" where they ofcourse won't break and tell enemy any information. Assuming the "torture" is something like beating ofcourse. On another hand I doubt anyone would be excited of this idea if the "torture" was rape. Innocent kids don't realize that may be a possibility, and those of older age tend to switch it out from imagination unconsciously.



PS.
For example, when I was growing up, I was the only girl in my class who played video games, and even when I played alone in my room, I could feel weird for wanting to try Call of Duty, and only seeing men in that game

BTW, Call of Duty had women in Soviet campaign. COD2 at least, I was replaying it short while ago and there definitely are women soldiers.

TBH I am not so sure whether this is because (or only because) it's focused on men players. It could be also because developers are commonly taking the simpliest route possible and base their game setting on most primitive tropes ("only men fight in wars"). The COD in particular always drew inspiration from the popular war action films (first soviet mission is literally copied from "Enemy at the Gates" with Jude Law). They could've added female soldiers to USSR because that was a more outstanding fact about soviet army, or even as a cliche about it.

PPS. Another trope I found recently is a French "Resistance Girl" in a red beret :D
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/xpv7eirqcFYuFgx8yVrGuJ-970-80.jpg
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 19 Jan 2021, 06:26
How nice of you, would it be OK if I put it in my banner?

Sure, go ahead!

I don't think you can compare rape with murder/violence. No one is traumatised by an Agatha Christie, or disturbed by a Jackie Chan film.

I'm not sure if this refers to what I was saying earlier, but I wasn't exactly thinking of Agatha Christie when I mentioned men also being treated badly. If there was a way to somehow quantify characters' suffering (humiliation being a subcategory of that) as a result of violence in movies, would your guess be that women would rank higher per capita? Not that that's even remotely possible, just curious where people's intuitions lie.

Murder can be a subject for light-hearted, lurid fun in a way that sexual crimes can't (at least, responsibly).

Not in general, but men being raped is sometimes played for laughs. You have your soap-dropping jokes, and then there are things like Hangover 2. It's a bizarre one - the guy is raped on his wedding day and the actor plays it more or less straight, no goofiness, you can see he's genuinely devastated. But the whole thing is framed as just one of those craaaaazy shenanigans the guys go through and the main issue ends up being how he's gonna hide it from his bride-to-be. The weird tonal mismatch almost makes the movie interesting :). That's one of the reasons I'm not sure I can agree that male rape is seen as a more heinous offense. It might be more viscerally uncomfortable for guys to watch and it definitely takes the titillation aspect out of it, but I don't see a soldier commando rushing to avenge the victim.

So far I find the studies Blondbraid linked to be most compelling here. There are a lot of different assumptions being made about how people interpret and react to scenes of sexual violence, so I'd be curious what actually happens in people's heads, in relation to which aspects of the scene, and all the different factors that play into it. That's also why I find attempts like the Unconsenting Media database potentially misleading - it tries to bundle a vast array of differently framed and executed scenes into a handful of categories, which may not be representative of how people perceive those scenes in context.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 19 Jan 2021, 10:07
Not in general, but men being raped is sometimes played for laughs. You have your soap-dropping jokes, and then there are things like Hangover 2.

I can't comment on Hangover 2, but that sounds very different to the average prison-rape / drop-the-soap joke. Those tend to be homophobic, and the fact that we laugh at them tells you how readily we dehumanise criminals. Criminals, like women are regularly treated as less-than-whole by fiction (and, coincidentally people in reality).

I'm not sure if this refers to what I was saying earlier, but I wasn't exactly thinking of Agatha Christie when I mentioned men also being treated badly. If there was a way to somehow quantify characters' suffering (humiliation being a subcategory of that) as a result of violence in movies, would your guess be that women would rank higher per capita?

It's not that women suffer more than men in films - it's that women's suffering is commonly a plot device in service of a male character's personal journey. When the man is being tortured, the audience is in the chair with him. When the woman is being tortured, the audience is with the protagonist, trying to find her. I can't think of more than a handful of stories where a woman's husband is murdered/kidnapped/abused and she seeks revenge.

I also think the studies are very interesting, but I don't think it's necessary to demonstrate a cause-effect relationship between troubling media portrayals and negative real-world behaviour. From a writer/creator point of view, it should be enough to recognise that the narrative conventions we grew up with tend to commodify and exploit the suffering of women, while centring men's experience.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 19 Jan 2021, 11:38
By the way, speaking of comparison between people getting killed and people getting sexually or otherwise humiliated, I wanted to add this example that a lot of young boys, at least of my generation, were not opposed to the idea of "dying heroically" for whatever cause seem just, or withstand a "torture" where they ofcourse won't break and tell enemy any information. Assuming the "torture" is something like beating ofcourse. On another hand I doubt anyone would be excited of this idea if the "torture" was rape. Innocent kids don't realize that may be a possibility, and those of older age tend to switch it out from imagination unconsciously.
I think you hit the nail on the head, and I think that this is why, in war propaganda, they are fine depicting all other sorts of violence and they are fine showing or implying women being threatened by sexual violence because it's a way to rally men into acition by going "look what they're going to do to our women!", but the sexual violence and rape men suffer in war is kept secret, because while you can die heroically in battle, or be a brave symbol whilst being tortured/executed (the film Braveheart springs to mind), you can't portray suffering rape as something heroic, because that crime is all about humiliating and depowering the victim and the perpetrator taking enjoyment from doing it. I remember being absolutely shocked when I read this article  (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men) and seeing just how prevalent wartime rape against men was, because it's virtually never brought up in any media, documentary or fiction, and I think a big reason for it is that it would be immensely harder for men to fantasize about going to war if they considered it to be a risk they themselves would have to risk. 

As for Call of Duty, I should have specified that I played the first CoD in the series, which didn't have any female soldiers in it.  :-\
Not in general, but men being raped is sometimes played for laughs. You have your soap-dropping jokes, and then there are things like Hangover 2. It's a bizarre one - the guy is raped on his wedding day and the actor plays it more or less straight, no goofiness, you can see he's genuinely devastated. But the whole thing is framed as just one of those craaaaazy shenanigans the guys go through and the main issue ends up being how he's gonna hide it from his bride-to-be. The weird tonal mismatch almost makes the movie interesting :).
I strongly recommend you watch this video by Pop Culture Detective (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nheskbsU5g), which explains why this trope happens pretty well. I don't like it either.  >:(
So far I find the studies Blondbraid linked to be most compelling here. There are a lot of different assumptions being made about how people interpret and react to scenes of sexual violence, so I'd be curious what actually happens in people's heads, in relation to which aspects of the scene, and all the different factors that play into it. That's also why I find attempts like the Unconsenting Media database potentially misleading - it tries to bundle a vast array of differently framed and executed scenes into a handful of categories, which may not be representative of how people perceive those scenes in context.
I should have added that Unconsenting media isn't meant to be a scientific database, it's man purpose is to give people a chance to look up weather a film depicts sexual abuse beforehand and decide if they want to watch it. If you have depression, anxiety or PTSD, such sites are a lifesaver.

Personally, though, I've come to feel that there is no ethical way to depict rape on screen because no matter how heinous you think you make the scene, some creep will find it arousing. Then, there's also the issue of actors being abused on set, and directors specifically adding scenes of sexual assault in the script to punish them, this post links a few good articles on the subject (https://brittle-things-delicately-sewn.tumblr.com/post/634462187272962048/i-was-re-reading-this-hollywood-reporter-article).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 19 Jan 2021, 17:51

That all being said, I can't help but feel as though there's something incorrect about this whole discussion.  :-\


Right. We were talking about discrimination tests in the first place.

Are really useful in videogaming?

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 19 Jan 2021, 19:52

That all being said, I can't help but feel as though there's something incorrect about this whole discussion.  :-\


Right. We were talking about discrimination tests in the first place.

Are really useful in videogaming?

_
(sorry if my first reply in this thread started a separate discussion and sidetracked the initial question)  :-[

As for tests, I can agree that the Bechdel test isn't too useful when it comes to video games, due to many games not featuring conversations between npc's in the first place (everybody just hanging out waiting for the player to interact with them being an old standard in gaming),
but that doesn't mean other forms of discrimination tests don't matter. As I mentioned previously, as a girl, only seeing boys in video game marketing and only seeing burly men with guns on the covers made me feel alienated as a kid, and it was seeing cool female game protagonists like Lara Croft, April Ryan and Zoe Castillo that got me into gaming, and eventually made me want to try more different games (including those with burly gunmen on the cover). So yeah, I think representation matters in gaming because I've experienced the effects of it firsthand, and I think having media tests can be useful in discerning broad trends and help people start to think and discuss the matter.

Maybe an alternative to the Bechdel test more adapted to video game-style narratives would be to ask if a game has;
1. A named female character (with an actual name, not a title)
2. Who has a full conversation with the player character/protagonist (more than two sentences),
3. And her conversation isn't about a romantic or sexual relationship with the player character

Any thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 19 Jan 2021, 22:21
An intriguing question. And a most intriguing discussion that it began. Brace yourself, the incompetent word-steward is about to dump far too much hot text in your lap!

Frankly, I do agree on the general nastiness of a lot of media nowadays. This peculiar sex-fiend arms-race in detective fiction is part of the reason why I do not like anything grittier than Father Brown these days, as far as television is concerned. Of course, not all contemporary crime dramas participate, but there is an unpleasant tendency to attempt to come up with new and fresh atrocities to keep the public shocked. For a while, it is as if a crime drama had no chance unless it featured some woman murdered in some ghastly, ironic manner.
I suppose I may simply be squeamish, but I cannot say that it is my type of entertainment, which is the operative word. At least the dreadful adverts featuring clips of abused animals have the purpose to draw in some money to the fund that means to help them.
I can see horrors and cruelty unbound whenever I please, behind my eyelids, if I look for it. I do not particularly want to, so I cannot say that I appreciate the service, even if it is meant to carry an element of catharsis.
I partly lay the blame at Stieg Larsson, at least locally. He exorcised some personal demons rather more publicly than I would consider proper, and then it seems to have become a sort of fad. One where ladies are the canvas the monster of the week is painted on. A standard. The trend is shifting, at last, but I think my general aversion to grit is permanent.

Indeed, George R. R. Martin is a most gifted author, and I do admire the solidity of his work. But I do not like it. I like me fairy-tales. They need to have something dark in them, but they need to be cosy. Wondrous, swashbuckling, grim and baroque at times, but they must have a space for cosiness. Post Game of Thrones, there seem to be an impression that fantasy must focus on cruelty and cynicism. As if Game of Thrones succeeded where other tales failed, and the cruelty that made so much of its stock had anything to do with it.
Lord of the Rings would no doubt had been greatly improved if Aragon had gouged the eyes out of a few rivals to the throne, Sam had sold Frodo out for a newly conquered fiefdom and Gimli had raped a few elves while they were passing through the elf woods.
I respect Mr Martin's authorship and I am happy for his successes. But when this dark legacy dissipate from fairy land, I shall be a very happy man.

Now, then. As a note on the subject of expectations and growing up. When I was a boy, I had a doll-house. I had made it myself and was very proud of it. It was vaguely modelled on 221b Baker Street, I seem to recall. Of course, no one could ever know. It was my little secret, something just for me. I kept it very close, and had a lot of good times with it. No one outside the family knew a thing.
I cannot say that I was truly ashamed of my little 'vice'. It harmed no one, and no one would ever know. You are in charge of making your own fun in this world. I would have died of embarrassment if it had become known, of course. Less because it was something to b e ashamed of, and more because it was a secret little deviancy, all of my own, and there were a lot of meaner boys out there. They could hurt you, and it felt so hideous, the very idea of the school-yard bully getting a chance to come in and destroy your private little world. It was not actually wrong of me to make dollies solve mysteries and decorate rooms in my own time; it was simply very unwise to let it become common knowledge.

I still think that people should be allowed this private space for themselves. My secret doll-house is now mostly an amusing anecdote to friends and a box of good memories, but I think that everyone should be allowed a secret garden.

Similarly, I recall another discussion I had with another boy. I was (and remain) fond of horses and horsemanship. He maintained that it was girly. I countered with knights, cowboys, caroleans. I think that he agreed, and saw my point (enough to not think less of me, at least), but he remained adamant that horses were now inseparably and irrevocably in the realm of girlhood. Sometimes, you are reminded even in youth that things do not necessarily make sense.

Peculiar things, these expectations there are. Of course, there is always room to defy them.

As to why the sexual violence inflicted upon soldiers is not mentioned very often, I am unsure. I have not thought of it. It is quite common, however, as is all modes of cruelty in a war. It is odd that it is not present more in the media that is decidedly anti-war and presents it at its most hellish. However, I cannot wonder that it, among with a lot of other hideous and utterly inglorious things are omitted in works that, if not glorifying to war, certainly tones down its horrors for the sake of the story or style of the piece.

It is a bit like an old naval warfare phenomenon that (mostly rightly) does not make it into the swashbuckling pirate films. All the chaps on the battery decks tend to have soiled themselves after a while. Partly out of fear or want for a break, but mostly because of the reality of firing a broadside in an enclosed area. Yesterday's dinner must go somewhere.
There is a reason that this is not modelled. It is rather hard to illustrate on film, and if it is one of those adventurous pirate pictures, it would rather break the mood. The same reason why the pirates are generally not shown branding, buggering or cutting the lips (and frying them) off of their victims, as was a distinct possibility amongst real pirate crews.
Indeed, the frequency in which the participants soil their underpants in battle is fairly great. It likely always have been. Battles are always terrifying, Marathon to Mosul, and as they are generally an all-day event, you could hardly duck out of the phalanx to tend to necessities. Considering the pressure and the shock-waves of the modern battlefield, I can only imagine that there is a significant expenditure on underpants on deployments.
There is the lice, too. I do believe George Orwell, in one of his novels, say something on the lines of 'All soldiers are riddled with lice in war. The pacifists would be wise to use pictures of them in their pamphlets. The men who fought at Verdun, Waterloo, Thermopyle, all had lice crawling over their testicles.'
Both lice and turds are difficult to illustrate, of course. Difficult to model in a game. And in most war stories, there would be little point. In a Big Serious War is Hell picture, most certainly worth trying to bring across. Less so in Where Eagles Dare, for instance. Or indeed Call of Duty. War as entertainment is a different question all together.

There is, however, good reason to discuss where sexual violence is specifically absent and where it is not. Would 'Lawrence of Arabia' have benefited from a rape scene? It is doubtful, and I can understand its omission. However, would the matter be treated differently if it had been 'Laura of Arabia' instead? I imagine it would, and that I find the disagreeable part.

Well, on that note, there practically was a Laura of Arabia. Queen of the Desert, about Gertrude Bell. Nicole Kidman, I believe. It rather failed to capture her, I fear. Ms Bell is a very intriguing woman. To make a boring film of her is almost as doubtful an achievement as making it needlessly unpleasant.

As for the original question, I am unsure. I am a firm believer in the power of checklists, but I think fiction may be the exception. Tests of this kind is useful to keep in mind, but I myself remain hesitant to use them, or at least stick to them. At least partly because I imagine I would simply muck it up.
That said, it is worth the time considering. A perfect agreement may not come, and I do not think that every work owes it to be spot-free, checked and tried. It is worth examining what stories that feature old-model Orcs à la Tolkien may say and what it may not say, but sometimes, a nasty old Orc is just what you need to make the blasted tale work as it needs to.


That all being said, I can't help but feel as though there's something incorrect about this whole discussion.  :-\


Right. We were talking about discrimination tests in the first place.

Are really useful in videogaming?

_
(sorry if my first reply in this thread started a separate discussion and sidetracked the initial question)  :-[

As for tests, I can agree that the Bechdel test isn't too useful when it comes to video games, due to many games not featuring conversations between npc's in the first place (everybody just hanging out waiting for the player to interact with them being an old standard in gaming),
but that doesn't mean other forms of discrimination tests don't matter. As I mentioned previously, as a girl, only seeing boys in video game marketing and only seeing burly men with guns on the covers made me feel alienated as a kid, and it was seeing cool female game protagonists like Lara Croft, April Ryan and Zoe Castillo that got me into gaming, and eventually made me want to try more different games (including those with burly gunmen on the cover). So yeah, I think representation matters in gaming because I've experienced the effects of it firsthand, and I think having media tests can be useful in discerning broad trends and help people start to think and discuss the matter.

Maybe an alternative to the Bechdel test more adapted to video game-style narratives would be to ask if a game has;
1. A named female character (with an actual name, not a title)
2. Who has a full conversation with the player character/protagonist (more than two sentences),
3. And her conversation isn't about a romantic or sexual relationship with the player character

Any thoughts on this?

An interesting list, although as all such lists, it needs to remain somewhat open. Sunless Skies fulfills the second and third most easily, but it fails the first. This is simply because with the exception of the chosen player name and Her Renewed Majesty, Empress Victoria of Albion, Slayer of Suns, there are no names, only titles. 'Repentant Devil', 'Incognito Princess', 'Indurate Veteran', 'Inadvisably Big Dog', and so forth. They are all characters, but the Sunless games do not often 'do' proper names. It works better than it sounds, believe me.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 19 Jan 2021, 22:46
That was unexpectedly poetic Reiter, you wouldn't happen to write prose and essays for fancy magazines as your day job?

Also, I'm surprised that there was a Nicole Kidman film based on Gertrude Bell, I might just see it from curiosity. I'm not a super fan of Werner Herzog's films or his methods, but my mother adores his works
and he's an acclaimed filmmaker among "culture-cardigans" who consider any mainstream audience critiquing it for being boring to be a badge of honor.  (roll)
Plus I guess in my opinion, I'd rather have a boring than an unpleasant and malicious film when it comes to portraying real people.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 19 Jan 2021, 23:27
Both lice and turds are difficult to illustrate, of course. Difficult to model in a game. And in most war stories, there would be little point. In a Big Serious War is Hell picture, most certainly worth trying to bring across. Less so in Where Eagles Dare, for instance. Or indeed Call of Duty. War as entertainment is a different question all together.

I don't know where or when it began, but it's not uncommon to see soldiers vomiting of stress and fear in contemporary movies. Which was not shown in the XX century films, I believe.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Laura Hunt on 19 Jan 2021, 23:29
An interesting list, although as all such lists, it needs to remain somewhat open. Sunless Skies fulfills the second and third most easily, but it fails the first. This is simply because with the exception of the chosen player name and Her Renewed Majesty, Empress Victoria of Albion, Slayer of Suns, there are no names, only titles. 'Repentant Devil', 'Incognito Princess', 'Indurate Veteran', 'Inadvisably Big Dog', and so forth. They are all characters, but the Sunless games do not often 'do' proper names. It works better than it sounds, believe me.

True for most of the game, but there are exceptions in Fallen London and Sunless Sea: the three sisters at Hunter's Keep are Phoebe, Cyntia and Lucy; there's also Virginia, the deviless, F.F. Gebrandt, the chemist, and at some point, you can find out that Mrs. Plenty's first name is Miriam.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 19 Jan 2021, 23:49
That was unexpectedly poetic Reiter, you wouldn't happen to write prose and essays for fancy magazines as your day job?

Also, I'm surprised that there was a Nicole Kidman film based on Gertrude Bell, I might just see it from curiosity. I'm not a super fan of Werner Herzog's films or his methods, but my mother adores his works
and he's an acclaimed filmmaker among "culture-cardigans" who consider any mainstream audience critiquing it for being boring to be a badge of honor.  (roll)
Plus I guess in my opinion, I'd rather have a boring than an unpleasant and malicious film when it comes to portraying real people.

I certainly wish that I did! One day. One day, I say!

Provided they do not run out of types.

I can see why she may like it. I do have a soft spot for pictures that dare to be slow, and have 'dead air'. I am also enough of a snob to be able to see why the cardigans would think that, I shall admit. And frankly, I do agree. They could have done much worse to Ms Bell than made her picture boring.

Now! Pertinent to the topic, I just thought of something. I recently fell in mad love with the game ArmA III. However, it fails the test quite severely as it does not seem to feature any women at all, which is a most curious absence now that I see it.

On the one hand, I see why. Previous games did feature women NPCs, as particularly ArmA II was about peacekeeping and establishing ties with the locals. N.o. 3, meanwhile, is more conventional combined arms fighting. The scope is not big enough to feature logistics or other areas where women service members would undoubtedly be present, if not in the front line, but they do not even feature in the radio communications or mission control. It is very weird, once you notice it. Extraordinarily curious. Considering that ArmA III did sacrifice a lot of the simulation aspect to bring the gameplay back to focus, a few servicewomen would not have been a stretch at all, certainly not for 2035.

Then again, the meat and potatoes of that game is making your own missions in it, with voice recordings and everything. Rigging and modelling is out of the question, but I certainly could cast a few servicewomen in the comms, at least. Dig where you stand!

That is also another question. Where stands a complete absence of women or different races where they should be expected to be, rather than a bad use of such characters? And what reasons for it are reasonable?

Both lice and turds are difficult to illustrate, of course. Difficult to model in a game. And in most war stories, there would be little point. In a Big Serious War is Hell picture, most certainly worth trying to bring across. Less so in Where Eagles Dare, for instance. Or indeed Call of Duty. War as entertainment is a different question all together.

I don't know where or when it began, but it's not uncommon to see soldiers vomiting of stress and fear in contemporary movies. Which was not shown in the XX century films, I believe.

That is a good point! It is a bit easier to illustrate that way, as it were, and I must say that it adds without taking away. A solution that I had forgotten, and now that you say it, I see it. Something to keep in mind.

It was a long time ago, and I will have to re-watch it some time, but I do think that To Hell and Back had similar instances, but it was also made to truly portray that sort of stress and fear, as much as the time it was made in could abide. It was quite raw for 1955, and frankly, I think it still is, even without arms and legs flying around. Of course, it is particularly interesting since the star of the picture, and indeed also the subject of it, would later speak out on battle-fatigue, its long-term conditions and how to improve the care of those afflicted. I imagine that a lot of modern post-traumatic care comes as a result of this movement. It is intriguing, how things work sometimes.

An interesting list, although as all such lists, it needs to remain somewhat open. Sunless Skies fulfills the second and third most easily, but it fails the first. This is simply because with the exception of the chosen player name and Her Renewed Majesty, Empress Victoria of Albion, Slayer of Suns, there are no names, only titles. 'Repentant Devil', 'Incognito Princess', 'Indurate Veteran', 'Inadvisably Big Dog', and so forth. They are all characters, but the Sunless games do not often 'do' proper names. It works better than it sounds, believe me.

True for most of the game, but there are exceptions in Fallen London and Sunless Sea: the three sisters at Hunter's Keep are Phoebe, Cyntia and Lucy; there's also Virginia, the deviless, F.F. Gebrandt, the chemist, and at some point, you can find out that Mrs. Plenty's first name is Miriam.

That is a very good point! I do feel very silly for forgetting the sister's names. Names are rare and valuable in the Neath, after all. It is a nice touch, I think, defining people by what they are, in a sense. When you do encounter a name, it is that much more significant.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 10:40
Both lice and turds are difficult to illustrate, of course. Difficult to model in a game. And in most war stories, there would be little point. In a Big Serious War is Hell picture, most certainly worth trying to bring across. Less so in Where Eagles Dare, for instance. Or indeed Call of Duty. War as entertainment is a different question all together.

I don't know where or when it began, but it's not uncommon to see soldiers vomiting of stress and fear in contemporary movies. Which was not shown in the XX century films, I believe.
Well, I think Blackadder goes forth had several jokes about both lice and all the other poor hygiene in the trenches.

As for Sunless Skies, that is an interesting point, though I would say that an unique title that designates the owner as their own version counts as a form of name. My main reason for putting a name on 1 on my list was mainly because I've seen many games where female characters don't have any real names, but are just referred to as "player's girlfriend/wife", "a woman" or something generic like "the princess" or "evil queen".

ow! Pertinent to the topic, I just thought of something. I recently fell in mad love with the game ArmA III. However, it fails the test quite severely as it does not seem to feature any women at all, which is a most curious absence now that I see it.
Yeah, I think it says something about how society views women when I can think of many high-budget and high profile games that lack women entirely, but I can't really think of any games that feature a lot of women but no men unless it's some low budget waifu game aimed at straight guys. Even the games aimed exclusively at little girls I played as a kid used to feature men, often in the role of a mentor/father figure guiding the player.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 11:04
Yeah, I think it says something about how society views women when I can think of many high-budget and high profile games that lack women entirely, but I can't really think of any games that feature a lot of women but no men unless it's some low budget waifu game aimed at straight guys. Even the games aimed exclusively at little girls I played as a kid used to feature men, often in the role of a mentor/father figure guiding the player.

I think the matter of having men everpresent in videogames stems from the nature of the vast majority of videogames in that they depict struggle, violence and adversity, which the player must overcome. Historically and culturally the professions of police, soldier and other potentially dangerous jobs and roles that are suited to face such adversity have been the lot of men, with arguments reasonably made that placing women in these roles often carries a greater potential risk to society in losing a precious childbearing mother rather than an easily replaceable male. This was definitely true in the past, of that I think there is little to argue over. Whether that still holds up in todays society, however, is an entirely different matter. The cultural background for the distinctly male role of low-value grunt idolized as hero overcoming odds, and the matronly female holding the fort and caring for the young, is solidly set and maintained for a variety of reasons ranging from ease of following tradition to preference among wider audience, along with experience among creators. Many are the creators of books, movies and games who are so set in their ways that it is an alien idea to them, that a female character might be as well defined and full of character as a male, when they are so used to depicting women as objects and trophies.

However, one could also argue that not placing more emphasis on women as protagonists, leaders and other key figures in games is oppressive and harmful, rather than protective and caring as I think the intention often is. Women are not excluded to spite them, but because it feels alien to many writers of stories to place them in such peril. Both ways can be seen as a negative, especially if handled clumsily and poorly. (See: Ubisoft claiming that including playable female characters, in a game where all player characters wear heavy robes, would be "double the work" and thus infeasible.)

I think this is a matter that will come down to cultural change over time, as well as the preferences of independent creators and audiences first. If those smaller and more independent creators and prove that audiences do enjoy games with a greater focus on strong and well fleshed out female characters, then the larger mainstream developers and publishers will eventually have to adopt the trend to remain viable and popular, or risk losing their market status and share.

One of my favourite kind of protagonist comes in games such as Myst. The protagonist has no name, no voice and no physical body. The games retain a full immersion in first person views, with NPC's regarding the player in neutral but natural terms, and the player gets to feel as though they are the protagonist of the story themselves, whatever their gender, appearance or other traits may be.

As for customizable protagonists in story heavy games, I feel it often results in protagonists that lack character or personality, even if voiced and animated well. The stories cannot really take gender into account in any way, if the player can be either male or female, or even a non-human race entirely, so stories have to be focused on other characters and events with the player reduced to a mere observer, around whom the story happens, regardless of who or what they are. A well defined protagonist, male or female, always trumps a customizable and ill defined one, when it comes to telling the story of that character.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 12:32
1. You should seriously stop bringing up reductive Evo-psych theories into every thread that brings up gender, and you're blatantly ignoring the fact that in many cultures, women were forbidden from carrying arms or learning how to fight, not as a sign of privilege but as a sign of their subordination, as oppressed groups like slaves, Jews, and serfs weren't allowed to carry arms either. And similar to arguments surrounding black and Jewish people, this kind of theorizing has been used to justify societal oppression and mask it as biology. Please just stop, and also, I suggest reading Klaus Theweleits's writings (https://timeline.com/male-fantasies-fascism-study-efe0a2773d1f) on male anxieties over fighting women and the pathological need to keep their women "pure".

2. Right from the start of video games, there have been games that aren't about war and fighting, but sports, exploration, and different kinds of job simulators. Plus in the 1980s, when gaming really started to take off, there were female action heroines like Ripley, Sarah Connor, various Bond girls, and Valeria from the Conan the Barbarian movie, so it's not like female soldiers or action heroes were unheard of or unacceptable to a mainstream audience.
Women are not excluded to spite them, but because it feels alien to many writers of stories to place them in such peril.
That's RIDICULOUS. I saw gamergate unfold when it started, and there were tons of guys complaining that games included female soldiers, even when they were in historically accurate situations, like female Russian scouts in Battlefield 1, or in contemporary/near-future settings like Call of Duty: Ghosts. Meanwhile, the exact same audience was fine with women portrayed as damsels who were kidnapped, murdered or violated to motivate male heroes to go on a revenge quest, or sometimes not even that, but just used as gritty set dressing, Red Deads Redemption even has an achievement for tying a female NPC to the railroad track.

Let's face it, a huge number of men are perfectly OK with women being tortured, hurt, and killed when they are portrayed as helpless damsels who need a man to protect or avenge them, and only bring up the white knight shtick about being queasy of violence against women when it's women portrayed as soldiers and warriors equal to the men.

Tolkien highlighted this male hypocrisy way back in the 1940s; (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7731170-and-she-answered-all-your-words-are-but-to-say)
“And she answered: 'All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.'

'What do you fear, lady?' he asked.

'A cage,' she said.”


And of course, this iconic line they kept in the movie; (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6957285-it-needs-but-one-foe-to-breed-a-war-not)
'And those who have not swords can still die upon them.”
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 14:00
1. You should seriously stop bringing up reductive Evo-psych theories into every thread that brings up gender, and you're blatantly ignoring the fact that in many cultures, women were forbidden from carrying arms or learning how to fight, not as a sign of privilege but as a sign of their subordination, as oppressed groups like slaves, Jews, and serfs weren't allowed to carry arms either. And similar to arguments surrounding black and Jewish people, this kind of theorizing has been used to justify societal oppression and mask it as biology. Please just stop, and also, I suggest reading Klaus Theweleits's writings (https://timeline.com/male-fantasies-fascism-study-efe0a2773d1f) on male anxieties over fighting women and the pathological need to keep their women "pure".

If it smells like it makes sense, tastes like it makes sense, and looks like it makes sense: it probably makes sense. From the point of view of biology and evolution, preserving the females makes a lot of sense, and is a pattern we see all over the animal kingdom to this day. Why would you think humans are exempt from such basic rules?

Right from the start of video games, there have been games that aren't about war and fighting, but sports, exploration, and different kinds of job simulators. Plus in the 1980s, when gaming really started to take off, there were female action heroines like Ripley, Sarah Connor, various Bond girls, and Valeria from the Conan the Barbarian movie, so it's not like female soldiers or action heroes were unheard of or unacceptable to a mainstream audience.

True, simulation games have always existed, but they are limited as a genre in the fact that they are trying to simulate and represent the lived-in reality at the time, and most sports are male dominated and when attempts are made to focus on female sports, the audience isn't there, both in real world sports events and in video games. I guess here we can blame capitalism, combined again with millenia of tradition, for the unequal outcome. I can't recall any of my friends complaining of having to play Anna Kurnikova's Tennis as kids, despite the female focus. We didn't reject it, because it made sense.

..there were tons of guys complaining that games included female soldiers, even when they were in historically accurate situations, like female Russian scouts in Battlefield 1, or in contemporary/near-future settings like Call of Duty: Ghosts. Meanwhile, the exact same audience was fine with women portrayed as damsels who were kidnapped, murdered or violated to motivate male heroes to go on a revenge quest, or sometimes not even that, but just used as gritty set dressing, Red Deads Redemption even has an achievement for tying a female NPC to the railroad track.

You mean you saw a small group of angry people out of a population of millions complain loudly on the internet? Yes, that sounds about right, and happens with every issue. You keep repeating "a huge number of men", and in a way you are right, but saying that a large portion of people think X doesn't tell us much more than the fact that this is the underlying tradition and mindset of the societies these people come from. These ways of thinking are how we are raised as kids, by parents and schools and stories and movies and games and books. I agree that we can change that, hell I've made a game with a female protagonist and worked for years on a second one that fell through, but the fact of the matter is that no matter how much we preach that on the internet the change won't happen in a year, or ten years, or maybe even fifty. It will happen steadily, over time, as new generations replace the old, as new attitudes replace the old, and as long as content producers like ourselves continue to provide those options and views into what could be, rather than what has always been.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Darth Mandarb on 20 Jan 2021, 14:29
Blondbraid - Are you suggesting that all entertainment (books, tv, movies, games, etc) should have to meet these standards you (and others) have created? Or are you saying they don't have to; you just wish more of them did so you, personally, could enjoy them more?

(forgive me if you've made this clear already but there's a lot of long posts in here and I have read things to suggest both answers)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 16:07
1. You should seriously stop bringing up reductive Evo-psych theories into every thread that brings up gender, and you're blatantly ignoring the fact that in many cultures, women were forbidden from carrying arms or learning how to fight, not as a sign of privilege but as a sign of their subordination, as oppressed groups like slaves, Jews, and serfs weren't allowed to carry arms either. And similar to arguments surrounding black and Jewish people, this kind of theorizing has been used to justify societal oppression and mask it as biology. Please just stop, and also, I suggest reading Klaus Theweleits's writings (https://timeline.com/male-fantasies-fascism-study-efe0a2773d1f) on male anxieties over fighting women and the pathological need to keep their women "pure".

If it smells like it makes sense, tastes like it makes sense, and looks like it makes sense: it probably makes sense. From the point of view of biology and evolution, preserving the females makes a lot of sense, and is a pattern we see all over the animal kingdom to this day. Why would you think humans are exempt from such basic rules?
1. Because the "protect the females" mentality is non-existent in the animal kingdom. In some species, males will fight off other males, but it has nothing to do with protecting the lives of the females and is only about preventing other males from mating with them. I've yet to come across any example of a male animal protecting female animals from say, being eaten by a predator, or any similar danger. Some male animals will even straight-up fight any female animals of the same species just like they would a male outside the mating season. Seriously, where are these white-knight animals you bring up?

Societies with large-scale armies where you have lots of soldiers dying in great battles and women being expected to have large groups of children to sire future workers and soldiers is an incredibly recent development in human history.
I suggesting reading this text (https://www.culture-of-peace.info/instinct/chapter5-6.html) if you want a real reason as to why so many societies have excluded women from warfare.

2. Homophobes, slave owners, and Nazis have used exactly the same logic you use to institute eugenics and oppression of various groups, and it's no coincidence Umberto Eco (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism#Umberto_Eco) listed misogyny and subordination of women as a sign of fascism. I've pointed this out to you before, what's not clicking?

Blondbraid - Are you suggesting that all entertainment (books, tv, movies, games, etc) should have to meet these standards you (and others) have created? Or are you saying they don't have to; you just wish more of them did so you, personally, could enjoy them more?

(forgive me if you've made this clear already but there's a lot of long posts in here and I have read things to suggest both answers)
I thought I'd already mention it, but I'll say it again: I don't think every single piece of media has to pass any such criteria, but I do think more should, and those that doesn't pass the criteria should have a good reason as to why.
For example, I think Master and Commander is a great film, although it fails the Bechdel test. However, the reason it fails the test is because the film takes place exclusively on a Napoleon-era warship and all the sailors are men,
so it makes sense as to why it doesn't feature women talking to one another. Meanwhile, there are films like Valerian and the city of a thousand planets that does feature several female characters, and takes place in a sci-fi world where anyone can have any role, but fails the test because the writer didn't think they had anything to contribute to the film other than supporting the stories of male characters, and that's a  bad reason to fail the Bechdel test.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 20 Jan 2021, 16:39
If it smells like it makes sense, tastes like it makes sense, and looks like it makes sense: it probably makes sense. From the point of view of biology and evolution, preserving the females makes a lot of sense, and is a pattern we see all over the animal kingdom to this day. Why would you think humans are exempt from such basic rules?

I think this is a case of the naturalistic fallacy - the assertion that because some aspect of social order is natural (or, in this case, believed to be natural) it is both inescapable and good. Or if not good per se, preferable to any risky change to the social order. I've heard Jordan Peterson fans insist that disagreeing with Doctor P. about women is tantamount to denying that gravity exists.

Appeals to common sense and gut-feelings are always anti-intellectual. And, like Blondbraid says, this kind of argument has legitimised some of the most appalling injustices in history.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Darth Mandarb on 20 Jan 2021, 17:10
I thought I'd already mention it, but I'll say it again: I don't think every single piece of media has to pass any such criteria, but I do think more should, and those that doesn't pass the criteria should have a good reason as to why.

So they aren't required to pass the test but they must have a good reason for failing it?

Who decides what constitutes a "good" reason for failing the test?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 20 Jan 2021, 17:15
So they aren't required to pass the test but they must have a good reason for failing it?

Required by whom? Blondbraid's not the censor-in-chief. The people talking about the Bechdel test are critics, not cultural dictators. I think Hollywood should stop making so many superhero films. That's not me threatening to ban them.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Darth Mandarb on 20 Jan 2021, 18:11
The people talking about the Bechdel test are critics, not cultural dictators.

Interesting choice of words.

When a critic says that some form of entertainment should pass a (or any) test to be acceptable are they not, in a way, attempting to dictate culture?

I think Hollywood should stop making so many superhero films.

Well it happened! For the first time in history we agree on something (nod)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 18:18
I thought I'd already mention it, but I'll say it again: I don't think every single piece of media has to pass any such criteria, but I do think more should, and those that doesn't pass the criteria should have a good reason as to why.

So they aren't required to pass the test but they must have a good reason for failing it?

Who decides what constitutes a "good" reason for failing the test?
Like Ali said, I'm not a censor, and I think this is a stupid and reductionist take. Likewise, coming with suggestions on what would be better is not the same as forcing people to conform to your standards.

How can you have any real discussion on anything culture-related if every personal statement of opinion is treated as some absolute law proposal?
Now I get why you're tagged as a Sith Lord.
(https://media3.giphy.com/media/uNgUzhakqXkyI/200.gif)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 18:19
I've yet to come across any example of a male animal protecting female animals from say, being eaten by a predator, or any similar danger.

I'm not saying animals are making a conscious decision to take such actions, as far as I am aware. I am rather referring to biology and evolution. Take, for example, a whole host of birds.

The female peacock:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/FemalePeacock_001.jpg/800px-FemalePeacock_001.jpg)
Dictated by evolution, drably coloured in order to better be able to hide and survive, and to shelter the precious eggs and chicks from predators.

The male peacock:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/90/Paon1.jpg/800px-Paon1.jpg)
Gloriously colourful to draw attention, both from females during mating season, and unwillingly from predators.

Humans are quite obviously not birds, but human biology and evolution still equips the female for the role of nurture, and the male for providing, hard labour and combat, no matter how much our modern society breaks this aspect by allowing males to grow soft and flabby and weak, while providing women the opportunities to live more free and independent lives. Whether someone embraces this new reality as a grand victory over biology, or views it as some horrid corruption that ruins the species, is up to the person making the interpretation. Human is, as far as I can tell, the only animal on the planet with very much direct control over its own evolution, so this seems to be a pretty new experiment, and future generations will be the ones to see the final outcome.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 20 Jan 2021, 18:20
I thought I'd already mention it, but I'll say it again: I don't think every single piece of media has to pass any such criteria, but I do think more should, and those that doesn't pass the criteria should have a good reason as to why.

So they aren't required to pass the test but they must have a good reason for failing it?

Who decides what constitutes a "good" reason for failing the test?
I don't want to talk for Blondbraid, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell, what she's saying is like when a humble vegan explains why they don't eat animal products.
She's not telling you to adopt her belief, but she's hoping that by explaining it, others will gain a better understanding and at the very least consider adopting it.

So to answer your question, the person who constitutes a "good" reason for failing the test, would be the person watching the movie or TV show at that time.

The people talking about the Bechdel test are critics, not cultural dictators.

Interesting choice of words.

When a critic says that some form of entertainment should pass a (or any) test to be acceptable are they not, in a way, attempting to dictate culture?
Isn't everyone always trying to dictate culture?
I'm fairly sure that's how culture comes into existence.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 18:24
Isn't everyone always trying to dictate culture?
I'm fairly sure that's how culture comes into existence.

"Culture is all things we do, say, write and draw. Every aspect of every thing we do, is culture."

That's how it was taught to us at school. I think most arguments over culture arise from people with different cultural backgrounds trying to enforce their own idea of "correct" culture over others while refusing the idea that other forms of culture than their own can have merit.
Good thing that's not the case here!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Darth Mandarb on 20 Jan 2021, 18:48
Like Ali said, I'm not a censor, and I think this is a stupid and reductionist take.

Let's try to remain civil please.

If you cannot answer (or do not wish to answer) my questions that's fine. I was asking honest questions I genuinely wanted answers to. Not trying to antagonize.

Likewise, coming with suggestions on what would be better is not the same as forcing people to conform to your standards.

I am assuming you mean "would be better" for you personally?

I have some confusion with this because you specifically said "I don't think every single piece of media has to pass any such criteria, but I do think more should, and those that doesn't pass the criteria should have a good reason as to why."

I hope you can see why I/some would interpret that as "forcing people to conform to your standards".

If you didn't mean it that way, great, but that's what it seemed you were saying so I asked questions for clarification.

How can you have any real discussion on anything culture-related if every personal statement of opinion is treated as some absolute law proposal?

By asking questions to better understand what the person, who you are in discussion with, meant?

Isn't everyone always trying to dictate culture?
I'm fairly sure that's how culture comes into existence.

Perhaps? I'm far from an expert but it doesn't really diminish my question, does it?

They [critics] are still trying to dictate culture.

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 20 Jan 2021, 20:17
They [critics] are still trying to dictate culture.

But this is an untenably silly take that would cast having an opinion on just about anything as dictatorial. You're not "forcing people to conform to your standards" unless you... you know... force people to conform to your standards.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 21:00
WHAM, have you actually read ANY of the arguments put before you here?

Males being more decorated to attract females is NOT the same thing as males being protective of females, and comparing humans to animals is ridiculous because for every example you bring up, there is a perfect counter-example of animals that do the opposite. Among cassowaries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_cassowary), females are larger and protect territories from other females whilst males rear their young, with Seahorses males rear the babies in a pouch on his stomach and Hyenas live in matriarchies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_hyena#Social_behaviour) where even the smallest female pup outranks the highest male hyena. As for Peacocks, there's this interesting tidbit (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_peafowl); Males may display even in the absence of females. When a male is displaying, females do not appear to show any interest and usually continue their foraging.

Or if you want an animal actually related to humans, look at the study of a group of baboons (https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/13/science/no-time-for-bullies-baboons-retool-their-culture.html), where a flock came across a batch of poisoned meat, the strongest and most aggressive males hogged all meat for themselves, and were subsequently poisoned, leaving the females, infants and meeker males alone, and the group of baboons permanently restructured their community so as the biting and bullying that had happened with the aggressive males around were no longer accepted, and this change not only remained several generations later, but baboons from the outside adopted the group's rules too.

And again, comparing humans to animals in your manner is offensive because it's been part of justifying real oppression, in several European countries women couldn't vote or have their own bank accounts far into the 20th century, and this was justified exactly with the sort of bullshit evo-psych you've been spreading, that women aren't biologically suited to do men's work, they should be relegated to the home because they're so much more nurturing/emotional and programmed to take care of babies.

I don't want to talk for Blondbraid, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell, what she's saying is like when a humble vegan explains why they don't eat animal products.
She's not telling you to adopt her belief, but she's hoping that by explaining it, others will gain a better understanding and at the very least consider adopting it.

So to answer your question, the person who constitutes a "good" reason for failing the test, would be the person watching the movie or TV show at that time.
Well, that's a fairly good explanation for what I've been trying to say.
I am assuming you mean "would be better" for you personally?
It's not just about me personally, I speak for a lot of women feeling the same way, and I think many minorities feel similar to their representation as I do with women.
Media can affect how we think about things, and I want more and better representation not just because I want to see fellow women in the media I consume, but also because seeing strong female characters can help other people accept women doing
things that doesn't adhere to narrow female stereotypes, and this is why films like Wonder Woman and Black Panther has mattered so much to so many people, because having a good quality film made with a black or female lead showed a lot of people that
women and black people can be people worth telling stories about and not just some optional niche figures who only serves to support white male leads. I suggest watching this;
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 21:15
And again, comparing humans to animals in your manner is offensive because it's been part of justifying real oppression, in several European countries women couldn't vote or have their own bank accounts far into the 20th century, and this was justified exactly with the sort of bullshit evo-psych you've been spreading, that women aren't biologically suited to do men's work, they should be relegated to the home because they're so much more nurturing/emotional and programmed to take care of babies.

The difference is that I don't justify anything. I merely observe history and culture and evolution and biology as it exists around us, and you seem to take my observation to mean I somehow support or condone these traditions, for some reason. Just because examples exist of one thing that explain things around us in the way, at least over here, we are taught these things in schools, doesn't mean that other ways exist in the broad diversity of animalia across the planet.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 21:27
And again, comparing humans to animals in your manner is offensive because it's been part of justifying real oppression, in several European countries women couldn't vote or have their own bank accounts far into the 20th century, and this was justified exactly with the sort of bullshit evo-psych you've been spreading, that women aren't biologically suited to do men's work, they should be relegated to the home because they're so much more nurturing/emotional and programmed to take care of babies.

The difference is that I don't justify anything. I merely observe history and culture and evolution and biology as it exists around us, and you seem to take my observation to mean I somehow support or condone these traditions, for some reason. Just because examples exist of one thing that explain things around us in the way, at least over here, we are taught these things in schools, doesn't mean that other ways exist in the broad diversity of animalia across the planet.
You are justifying it by presenting it as a legitimate scientific theory, and not a hodge-podge cobbled together from lazy and simplistic generalizations of animals, and presenting patriarchal oppression as a logical evolutionary outcome instead of the choices and culture of people running society, and by presenting this as somehow programmed into human nature, you are in fact implying that any attempts to challenge female oppression is futile and foolish. and the phrasing;
Quote
no matter how much our modern society breaks this aspect by allowing males to grow soft and flabby and weak
...basically implies that you think it was better back when a man's worth was based on his ability to dominate and subdue anyone weaker than him.

I have given you plenty of counterexamples, and links to various sources, I suggest you read them before arguing further.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 21:32
Quote
no matter how much our modern society breaks this aspect by allowing males to grow soft and flabby and weak
...basically implies that you think it was better back when a man's worth was based on his ability to dominate and subdue anyone weaker than him.

Are you saying modern society does not enable people to be far more lazy, obese and weak than past societies?

I'm also not arguing against your points because I agree with them, I've no reason to argue against them for the most part, save for the difference of you calling it "patriarchal oppression" and me calling it "mostly well intentioned foolishness combined with outdated modes of thought".

After all: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 21:43
Quote
no matter how much our modern society breaks this aspect by allowing males to grow soft and flabby and weak
...basically implies that you think it was better back when a man's worth was based on his ability to dominate and subdue anyone weaker than him.

Are you saying modern society does not enable people to be far more lazy, obese and weak than past societies?

I'm also not arguing against your points because I agree with them, I've no reason to argue against them for the most part, save for the difference of you calling it "patriarchal oppression" and me calling it "mostly well intentioned foolishness combined with outdated modes of thought".

After all: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Would you seriously say that denying half the population to vote or own their own money, and putting them into forced marriages before that, or marital rape and beating your spouse being legal for centuries, or girl babies being left to die in the wilderness just because they were girls, were just some stupid mistake that came about by accident? By that logic, was the trans-Atlantic slave trade just a big misunderstanding, or the Soviet gulags just a well-intentioned but slightly mismanaged attempt to educate people into loving citizens?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 22:04
Would you seriously say that denying half the population to vote or own their own money, and putting them into forced marriages before that, or marital rape and beating your spouse being legal for centuries, or girl babies being left to die in the wilderness just because they were girls, were just some stupid mistake that came about by accident? By that logic, was the trans-Atlantic slave trade just a big misunderstanding, or the Soviet gulags just a well-intentioned but slightly mismanaged attempt to educate people into loving citizens?

No. When did we get from women being depicted in media being based on history, which is based on earlier history, to women being forcibly married again? I seem to be confused on the topic of the conversation here.

I posed, based on observations of evolution, biology, history and culture, that the most common ways women are depicted are based on all of those things, and that new ways are rising to the fore, though they will take time and effort to become mainstream. From this we seem to somehow found the false conclusion that I approve of all aspects of that history or somehow oppose change?  ???
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 20 Jan 2021, 22:22
From this we seem to somehow found the false conclusion that I approve of all aspects of that history or somehow oppose change?  ???

You do consistently adopt a stance against efforts to deliberately change society. In fact, you seem nostalgic for a time when people weren't as 'lazy' and 'stupid'. The only progressive change you seem prepared to consider is a 'natural', glacial form of social change, constrained by (supposed) biological realities that happen to justify existing inequalities.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 22:30
Like I said above, I support the change, and I support having more women in prominent roles in media, which includes myself working to have female protagonists in my games, but I know from seeing it in action that trying to force change too rapidly on people who aren't ready for it will only result in a backlash. What I mean by that is the exact kind of moral policing, calling out movies or games for failing to meet some kind of unwritten standard as if doing so were a crime unto itself, which we keep seeing now spread from the online world into the real world.

And yes, I do think that much of the accomplishments of modern western societies have damaged those societies. Hell, the very Gamergate event Blondbraid mentioned before is a prime example of people who have no real problems in life, on both sides of the issues discussed therein, venting their lack of meaningful existence into petty arguments with strangers and screaming into the void that is the uncaring internet. It leads to people who lack a cause and purpose to adopt imaginary causes, to live fantasy lives fueled by various forms of media and the internet, and to attack anyone they perceive as threatening that way of life.

It's not an entirely new phenomenon, but the fact seems to be that a large portion of the population is wasting its potential and resources, in a time of abundance and easy life.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 20 Jan 2021, 22:44
I know from seeing it in action that trying to force change too rapidly on people who aren't ready for it will only result in a backlash.

Can you think of an historical example of advocates for progressive change not incurring a backlash, and yet succeeding? I'm struggling to think of one. But I think it's a topsy-turvy line of thinking that can turn the people saying, "I want to be treated fairly," into oppressors and the people saying "Hell, no!" into victims.

I must say, I'm particularly repulsed by the contempt you seem to have for the weak, the stupid, the obese, the lazy... your world seems to be full of inferior specimens.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 22:52
There are always those who resist change. Sometimes they are fools holding us back, sometimes they are wiser than we might have known. The only way to find out is to see things through, so future generations can find out what the outcome was. My point is that by trying too hard, you will once again just push people away from your way of thinking rather than help guide them into the fold.
For a good modern day example: make good games and movies with female protagonists and support those creators. Create new ideas, characters and stories.
For a bad example: turn every single pre-established story and character into a minority version of itself at any cost just to be able to say you were 'inclusive' because that's what the PR advisory board said the corporation should do with their intellectual property.

Also:
"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."
I think we should apply the same kind of thinking to learning and critical thinking, too, rather than encourage people to be their worst selves just because they can afford it at this moment. I fear society, before long, won't be able to afford it. Feel free to differ on this, of course. I feel you might be obligated to do so by principle at this point.  :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 22:58
No. When did we get from women being depicted in media being based on history, which is based on earlier history, to women being forcibly married again? I seem to be confused on the topic of the conversation here.

I posed, based on observations of evolution, biology, history and culture, that the most common ways women are depicted are based on all of those things, and that new ways are rising to the fore, though they will take time and effort to become mainstream. From this we seem to somehow found the false conclusion that I approve of all aspects of that history or somehow oppose change?  ???
Because of cause and effect, and me trying to show you that patriarchal oppression isn't the result of men wishing to protect women, it's oppression of women disguised under rhetoric of it being to protect them and for their own good, you keep painting these limitations of women as some idyllic past where they were sheltered by big strong men, I come up with counterexamples to show that it wasn't how it was back then, and this tied back to how you claim not featuring female soldiers in games was
somehow a result of men trying to protect themselves from seeing dead women, but it isn't, it's manchildren not wanting to see women as capable fighters.

And yes, I do think that much of the accomplishments of modern western societies have damaged those societies. Hell, the very Gamergate event Blondbraid mentioned before is a prime example of people who have no real problems in life, on both sides of the issues discussed therein, venting their lack of meaningful existence into petty arguments with strangers and screaming into the void that is the uncaring internet. It leads to people who lack a cause and purpose to adopt imaginary causes, to live fantasy lives fueled by various forms of media and the internet, and to attack anyone they perceive as threatening that way of life.
Gamergate was NOT two equal sides. All the death threats, rape threats, and graphic descriptions of how they'd harm their opponents came from the Gamergate side, whereas the only thing people like Anita Sarkeesian and those siding with her did was highlighting the sexism in the industry and suggesting how to improve it.
Quote
What I mean by that is the exact kind of moral policing, calling out movies or games for failing to meet some kind of unwritten standard as if doing so were a crime unto itself, which we keep seeing now spread from the online world into the real world.
Did you seriously miss the part where repeatedly I said not all media has to meet all the criteria I set up?
I even brought up an example in Master and Commander which I thought was a good film that didn't pass the Bechdel test and didn't need to?
I know from seeing it in action that trying to force change too rapidly on people who aren't ready for it will only result in a backlash.

Can you think of an historical example of advocates for progressive change not incurring a backlash, and yet succeeding? I'm struggling to think of one. But I think it's a topsy-turvy line of thinking that can turn the people saying, "I want to be treated fairly," into oppressors and the people saying "Hell, no!" into victims.

I must say, I'm particularly repulsed by the contempt you seem to have for the weak, the stupid, the obese, the lazy... your world seems to be full of inferior specimens.
True words, there is no human right we have today that wasn't fought tooth and nail by the proponents of the status quo.
Also:
"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."
I think we should apply the same kind of thinking to learning and critical thinking, too, rather than encourage people to be their worst selves just because they can afford it at this moment. I fear society, before long, won't be able to afford it. Feel free to differ on this, of course. I feel you might be obligated to do so by principle at this point.  :-D
Then be your best self and start using empathy and stop using strawman arguments.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 20 Jan 2021, 23:08
I never said the gamergate situation had two equal sides, but there were still idiots on both sides making thins worse. More so on one side than the other, sure, but still. Stones and glass houses.

And just because I point out that moral policing exists is not saying that is what you are doing, nor do I believe I have said at any point that you were doing such. It's a wider phenomenon that is appearing more and more, creeping into newspapers, columns and editorials. Opinion dressed as the one truth.

It's starting to feel like I'm talking into a broken radio. I keep saying I agree with nearly all of your points and you keep acting like I'm attacking you or accusing you of something, somehow?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Jan 2021, 23:38
I never said the gamergate situation had two equal sides, but there were still idiots on both sides making thins worse. More so on one side than the other, sure, but still. Stones and glass houses.

And just because I point out that moral policing exists is not saying that is what you are doing, nor do I believe I have said at any point that you were doing such. It's a wider phenomenon that is appearing more and more, creeping into newspapers, columns and editorials. Opinion dressed as the one truth.

It's starting to feel like I'm talking into a broken radio. I keep saying I agree with nearly all of your points and you keep acting like I'm attacking you or accusing you of something, somehow?
I could say the same, you started this conversation claiming video games not depicting female soldiers, and historical societies not allowing female soldiers were due to men wanting to protect women and not see women die,
what I've been trying to say this whole time is that that argument is basically painting oppression as some benevolent misunderstanding, and that is pretty insulting to those being oppressed.

Then you brought up a bunch of evo-psych talking points about animals and ignored my and Ali's arguments on why that was offensive.
I haven't really seen any evidence whatsoever of you reading or thinking about any of the links I posted with factual sources countering your theories,
if you want to show you're arguing in good faith, I suggest you'd try to actually think about what people are telling you rather than just repeat your pet theories
pretending cultural roles are biological inevitabilities. Read the link with the baboons I sent you and ponder that.

If I come across as aggressive in my replies, well, what do you expect when someone posting theories imply that I'm biologically programmed to need to be protected by a group that has historically enacted oppressive laws on people like me,
and that any attempts by my group to gain equal human rights is basically a weird recent human experiment that might have gotten overboard and also be responsible for half the species going flabby and lazy?

Let me ask you this; if you'd told an African-American that slavery was instituted to protect black people from the harshness of the world, that they were naturally wired to be subservient and want to help other people,
and that civil rights were a recent fluke experiment that might have gone too far, would you expect them to take it kindly?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Khris on 20 Jan 2021, 23:41
I merely observe history and culture and evolution and biology as it exists around us

...through some pretty thick, Jordan Peterson shaped glasses, apparently, paired with the exact same energy as these guys: https://twitter.com/soapachu/status/1351450545723240448

I don't understand why you feel the need to participate in these topical threads while being stuck in 2015 and unwilling or unable to advance your weird views? You seriously sound like a 70 year old pre-Trump Republican who just opposes any social progress reflexively, without even understanding or caring what's actually going on, let alone listening to the people fed up with being told to "behave, and we'll all get along".
Just mindlessly both sides-ing BLM and Q, Gamergaters and feminists, anybody who's stepping on your lawn.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 08:23
I could say the same, you started this conversation claiming video games not depicting female soldiers, and historical societies not allowing female soldiers were due to men wanting to protect women and not see women die,
what I've been trying to say this whole time is that that argument is basically painting oppression as some benevolent misunderstanding, and that is pretty insulting to those being oppressed.

I did not claim that. I claimed that may likely have been the case in the earliest history of mankind, where the survival of the species, and slightly later when the survival of early tribes, was reliant on having a way to produce viable offspring and meet the basic criteria for survival. This positively ancient basis then serves as basis over which all forms of later societies and cultures have evolved, and while this has not been a real cause for a very long time, the past still informs the present. Modern society does not exist in a bubble separated from its past, though as we've agreed time and time again, there is no reason for it to still be stuck to its past either.

Then you brought up a bunch of evo-psych talking points about animals and ignored my and Ali's arguments on why that was offensive.
I haven't really seen any evidence whatsoever of you reading or thinking about any of the links I posted with factual sources countering your theories,
if you want to show you're arguing in good faith, I suggest you'd try to actually think about what people are telling you rather than just repeat your pet theories
pretending cultural roles are biological inevitabilities. Read the link with the baboons I sent you and ponder that.

See above. I keep saying one thing and you keep acting like I've said a completely different thing.

If I come across as aggressive in my replies, well, what do you expect when someone posting theories imply that I'm biologically programmed to need to be protected by a group that has historically enacted oppressive laws on people like me,
and that any attempts by my group to gain equal human rights is basically a weird recent human experiment that might have gotten overboard and also be responsible for half the species going flabby and lazy?

And again, this is not at all what I have been saying, save for the part that: yes, modern society provides women with far more opportunities to be more independent and free, and it remains too be seen if this is 100% a positive thing, or if it might have some negative impact on wider society through the standard, normal family unit that was part of developing and stabilizing western cultures and societies becoming less common and popular.

This freedom to focus on oneself is being widely viewed as a good thing as it seems to answer a core part of feminism, seemingly providing women the same equal opportunity to not settle down and start a family and to have their own career and way of life. However, both men and women are biologically wired to want to have a family at some point, and women have the biological disadvantage here of their ability to have offspring decreasing over time at a much faster rate than men. We already see ex-feminists dropping out of the movement and saying that maybe some aspects of that movement, its tearing up of traditional family structures, may have been a mistake after all. For some individuals, at least, that independence has brought serious regrets later in life as women find themselves at an age where having children is increasingly difficult or impossible, but have not settled down to have a family, and now find it increasingly difficult. Whether those women are a freak exception among a grand liberation movement, or a sign of an issue that will become more prevalent in the future, time will tell.

As a proponent of personal freedom for all adults, I support the right of everyone, men and women, to choose their own way in this.

Let me ask you this; if you'd told an African-American that slavery was instituted to protect black people from the harshness of the world, that they were naturally wired to be subservient and want to help other people,
and that civil rights were a recent fluke experiment that might have gone too far, would you expect them to take it kindly?

That was a claim used by slave owners. It was incorrect then, a meritless excuse to try and justify their actions, and remains so now.



You seriously sound like a 70 year old pre-Trump Republican who just opposes any social progress reflexively, without even understanding or caring what's actually going on, let alone listening to the people fed up with being told to "behave, and we'll all get along".

What have I said that opposes "any social progress"?
I may point out pros and cons, the latter especially if I feel they are being ignored in a conversation, but just because I point out that something should be considered does not mean I blindly support that view myself.

You: Chocolate ice cream is great.
Me: Strawberry is a also an option.
You: AHA! SO YOU HATE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!
Me: -visible confusion-

Just mindlessly both sides-ing BLM and Q, Gamergaters and feminists, anybody who's stepping on your lawn.

I am not part of any of these movements, so I am not taking sides in their conflicts as long as they do not involve me.

- BLM is barely a thing in Finland, a country where blacks are a tiny minority and entire town exist that have zero black people in them. The movement does have some supporters in the Helsinki area. I have already previously said I support the principle on which BLM is formed, but think the movement is somewhat misguided when it comes to its messaging and methods.

- Q is not a thing in Finland, outside of some imageboard trolls. It is considered one of those internet movements that exist to be laughed at and made jokes of in tabloids.

- Gamergate was also a heavily America focused movement. It probably had some finnish members, but the whole movement was tiny in size, if very loud and obnoxious.

- I do not consider myself a feminist, as I dislike the label and the many interpretations of what that label means to people. I am an egalitarian and believe in equality between men and women. That last part does agree with the views of many feminists, but sadly not all, which is why I dislike the label of feminist.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 11:00
WHAM, if you don't want to be seen as a clueless sexist parroting misogynist crap, you need to stop and think what you sound like, and it basically sounds like you're saying;

"Why I totally support women's liberation, and women totally have the right to make choices, but if they don't choose to be housewives they'll become miserable, tear apart families
and become full of angush and regret for not having babies and fighting their own biology, and feminism might be good social progress but there is also a huge chance it's a fluke experiment that has gone too far and everyone will regret later"

Seriously, the argument that career women will become miserable and regret not devoting their lives to babies is brought up every time women's rights make any sort of progress, and right-wing propaganda will produce a few cherry-picked examples of
women unhappy with their careers to hold up as "proof" feminism has failed. Seriously, Susan Faludi wrote about this exact phenomenon way back in the 80s, it wasn't true then and it isn't true now.
Let me ask you this; if you'd told an African-American that slavery was instituted to protect black people from the harshness of the world, that they were naturally wired to be subservient and want to help other people,
and that civil rights were a recent fluke experiment that might have gone too far, would you expect them to take it kindly?

That was a claim used by slave owners. It was incorrect then, a meritless excuse to try and justify their actions, and remains so now.
Then why can't you see you hypocrisy in rightfully recognizing racist theories as made-up claims by slave-owners who wanted to justify their enslavement of other people, but you treat the exact same aruguments, only with the word "black person" replaced with the word "woman"
as perfectly reasonable scientific logic and biology, based on nothing but stereotypes you've made up? Can't you see what I'm trying to say?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 12:29
No, I really can't see, since it looks to me like you're comparing apples to oranges. Sorry.

EDIT: One comparison is between different sub-races of humanity, where nearly all difference is cultural and borne from nurture and thus saying one is "superior" or "dominant" over the other based on that race is humbug. The other is a comparison between genders, which are demonstrably different in reproductive biology and thus in their original, historic role in the preservation of the species, and later the tribe, community and civilization.

Again, I do not think that difference has any real merit in today's world, but I do still believe it still exists as one of many distant root causes that have built up the culture we live in today. One of the founding bricks laid down eons ago, atop which all future cultural shifts, no matter how distant, are still based on. Throughout history there have been different views in different cultures on what the value or merit of that foundation is and some have differed vastly from others (see: Scythians), and each culture and society has its own path to choose in this.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 12:58
No, I really can't see, since it looks to me like you're comparing apples to oranges. Sorry.
If that's how you see it it just goes to show you can get injustices and dehumanization when it's situations that happen to men, but you don't see women as fully human,
individuals with just as complex and diverse lives and personalities just like men, but you see them as some sort of other, creatures that doesn't have lives and feelings like you do,
and rule by instinct and biology in ways that you aren't, and you are incapable of feeling empathy for women.

If you can admit that different cultures exist, you should also be aware that there are plenty of cultures where families look nothing like the western patriarchal standard and ascribing culture to biology in the
the reductionist way you have done adds nothing to the discussion except dehumanizing women, and it's hard not to see that the only thing you are trying to achieve by doing this has been to legitimize misogynist
historical practices by painting them as logical evolutionary developments, which in turn implies that any abuse of women because they are women isn't opression on par with the opression groups with men suffer,
but just some misguided biological instincts.

Do you have ANY idea how draining it is to have to argue for the very fact that I and other women are full human beings, our human rights aren't some made up experiment exclusive to modern society,
and that women can suffer from unjust limitations just as much as any man does?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 13:08
I'm starting to think we might be speaking different languages here, where the same words have different meanings, since again you keep telling me I've said things I have most certainly not said.
At no point have I said anything of the nature that women were not full human beings, I've said exactly the opposite: they are. I've never justified any kind of abuse of women, either, and I've said I consider myself an egalitarian, as I believe all human beings are equal and deserve the same rights. I specifically pointed out that different cultures have come to different conclusions based on the same shared heritage, which just goes to show that nurture, time and societal development can bring about meaningful change, which is the exact same point you keep making as well.

You seem to be arguing against some kind of imaginary ideas that you keep seeing written between the lines I actually write, that do not correspond with what I am actually saying. I very much understand how draining it is, as it's just as draining for me to try my hardest to explain my beliefs and understanding of the world, agreeing with you, only to have it thrown back in my face as if I'd said the exact opposite.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 14:51
I'm starting to think we might be speaking different languages here, where the same words have different meanings, since again you keep telling me I've said things I have most certainly not said.
At no point have I said anything of the nature that women were not full human beings, I've said exactly the opposite: they are. I've never justified any kind of abuse of women, either, and I've said I consider myself an egalitarian, as I believe all human beings are equal and deserve the same rights. I specifically pointed out that different cultures have come to different conclusions based on the same shared heritage, which just goes to show that nurture, time and societal development can bring about meaningful change, which is the exact same point you keep making as well.

You seem to be arguing against some kind of imaginary ideas that you keep seeing written between the lines I actually write, that do not correspond with what I am actually saying. I very much understand how draining it is, as it's just as draining for me to try my hardest to explain my beliefs and understanding of the world, agreeing with you, only to have it thrown back in my face as if I'd said the exact opposite.
1. I haven't seen you actually engage with any of the fact or links I posted refuting your ideas of patriarchy being biological and evo-psych using animal examples to justify opression of human women. You could have just said "I didn't realize that sounded offensive" and dropped the evo-pcych sthick from the discussion after my first reply, but you continued to regurgitate it in every single reply you've made.

2. Here's what you yourself have said throughout this entire discussion, boldening mine;
Quote
it probably makes sense. From the point of view of biology and evolution, preserving the females makes a lot of sense, and is a pattern we see all over the animal kingdom to this day. Why would you think humans are exempt from such basic rules?
Quote
Humans are quite obviously not birds, but human biology and evolution still equips the female for the role of nurture, and the male for providing, hard labour and combat, no matter how much our modern society breaks this aspect by allowing males to grow soft and flabby and weak, while providing women the opportunities to live more free and independent lives. Whether someone embraces this new reality as a grand victory over biology, or views it as some horrid corruption that ruins the species, is up to the person making the interpretation. Human is, as far as I can tell, the only animal on the planet with very much direct control over its own evolution, so this seems to be a pretty new experiment, and future generations will be the ones to see the final outcome.
Quote
save for the difference of you calling it "patriarchal oppression" and me calling it "mostly well intentioned foolishness combined with outdated modes of thought".
Quote
I posed, based on observations of evolution, biology, history and culture, that the most common ways women are depicted are based on all of those things,
Quote
Hell, the very Gamergate event Blondbraid mentioned before is a prime example of people who have no real problems in life, on both sides of the issues discussed therein, venting their lack of meaningful existence into petty arguments with strangers and screaming into the void that is the uncaring internet. It leads to people who lack a cause and purpose to adopt imaginary causes, to live fantasy lives fueled by various forms of media and the internet, and to attack anyone they perceive as threatening that way of life.
Quote
There are always those who resist change. Sometimes they are fools holding us back, sometimes they are wiser than we might have known. The only way to find out is to see things through, so future generations can find out what the outcome was. My point is that by trying too hard, you will once again just push people away from your way of thinking rather than help guide them into the fold.
Quote
And again, this is not at all what I have been saying, save for the part that: yes, modern society provides women with far more opportunities to be more independent and free, and it remains too be seen if this is 100% a positive thing, or if it might have some negative impact on wider society through the standard, normal family unit that was part of developing and stabilizing western cultures and societies becoming less common and popular.

This freedom to focus on oneself is being widely viewed as a good thing as it seems to answer a core part of feminism, seemingly providing women the same equal opportunity to not settle down and start a family and to have their own career and way of life. However, both men and women are biologically wired to want to have a family at some point, and women have the biological disadvantage here of their ability to have offspring decreasing over time at a much faster rate than men. We already see ex-feminists dropping out of the movement and saying that maybe some aspects of that movement, its tearing up of traditional family structures, may have been a mistake after all. For some individuals, at least, that independence has brought serious regrets later in life as women find themselves at an age where having children is increasingly difficult or impossible, but have not settled down to have a family, and now find it increasingly difficult. Whether those women are a freak exception among a grand liberation movement, or a sign of an issue that will become more prevalent in the future, time will tell.
If you truly agreed with me, you wouldn't keep saying that gender roles are biological or keep implying that feminism might be good, but it just might also be a horrible mistake that will destroy families and make men and women miserable and regretful, and you'd stop adding "but maybe feminism is also bad" at the end of every post after being called out on it the first time.

I do not think feminism has gone too far, nor do I think there is any remote possibility that it will make tons of women unhappy or destroy families if allowed to continue.

I do not believe human males are biologically programmed to want to protect and preserve women, and I do not believe human women are biologically programmed to have child-rearing as their foremost goal in life.

You have continuously argued against both these points I'm making.

It's hard not to feel this talk on how you're really agreeing with me is just you trying to save face after writing yourself into a rhetorical corner.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 15:10
So me pointing out basic evolution and biology and pointing out that we have no way to know that current societal trends are good or bad, and that the value judgement is likely to be finally made by future generations, is somehow bad? That by failing to unilaterally agree with you while ignoring any possibility that the future might prove the current trend harmful, I am somehow anti-women? And are you really saying you're one of those people who deny the theory of evolution now?

I do not think feminism has gone too far, nor do I think there is any remote possibility that it will make tons of women unhappy or destroy families if allowed to continue.

I do not believe human males are biologically programmed to want to protect and preserve women, and I do not believe human women are biologically programmed to have child-rearing as their foremost goal in life.

You have continuously argued against both these points I'm making.

It's hard not to feel this talk on how you're really agreeing with me is just you trying to save face after writing yourself into a rhetorical corner.

I think in western societies feminism has gone far enough, and in some areas has led to legal precedent that is swinging towards being unfair toward men (see: Finnish conscription laws and police standard procedure for handling domestic disturbances, for starters), which seems to be an unintended side effect of feminism and tradition colliding.

I do believe males are biologically programmed to want to produce offspring, and part of that for humans is ensuring the well-being of the mother of that offspring. I also believe that modern western society and culture has eroded those roles over time, likely as a result of the abundance of resources in those societies giving people the option of not having to worry about their offspring starving to death like their ancestors, and that the final outcome of that will be seen by future generations beyond our lifetime.

On these points we clearly do not agree.

We do, however, agree on the fact that women are complete and capable human beings, with every right to self-determination and representation in all aspects of society, including media. I believe that was the original point of this thread, wasn't it?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 16:00
You cannot truly believe women are full and equal human beings, and also believe that gender roles are justified by biology, because then you are in fact arguing that people should be treated differently just because of their bodies,
and deny that restrictive gender roles have been used to subjugate women and non-conforming men, often in cruel and violent ways.
So me pointing out basic evolution and biology and pointing out that we have no way to know that current societal trends are good or bad, and that the value judgement is likely to be finally made by future generations, is somehow bad? That by failing to unilaterally agree with you while ignoring any possibility that the future might prove the current trend harmful, I am somehow anti-women? And are you really saying you're one of those people who deny the theory of evolution now?
I have heard racist say the exact same thing, that if you deny that non-white people are biologically superior, you are denying evolution. I am well aware women reproduce differently than males, however, none of the sex differences have justified any of the oppression women have been put through in history, like not being allowed to learn how to fight, not having their own money, or having a say in who they marry, denied education, denied the right to birth control, all serving to keep them subordinate and all of which men have justified by pointing to their biology.
I think in western societies feminism has gone far enough, and in some areas has led to legal precedent that is swinging towards being unfair toward men (see: Finnish conscription laws and police standard procedure for handling domestic disturbances, for starters), which seems to be an unintended side effect of feminism and tradition colliding.
This is a classic anti-women talking point, when forced marriage was outlawed, men said feminism had gone far enough, when women got the vote, men said feminism had gone far enough, when women got their own bank accounts,
men said feminism had gone far enough. Feminism is still needed as long as women face violence and discrimination just for being women, and shit like sexual assault and domestic abuse still happens to an alarming number of women even in my native Sweden, a country leading the charts on equality, and it still happens at the hands of educated western men who claim society is equal for men and women.

I do believe males are biologically programmed to want to produce offspring, and part of that for humans is ensuring the well-being of the mother of that offspring. I also believe that modern western society and culture has eroded those roles over time, likely as a result of the abundance of resources in those societies giving people the option of not having to worry about their offspring starving to death like their ancestors, and that the final outcome of that will be seen by future generations beyond our lifetime.
Then ponder why there are several tribal societies where the father has no input or influence over his offspring at all, the child-rearing being done entirely by the mother and her relatives, maternal uncles being treated as the "real dads" of the kids,
(and even among Jews, who laid the foundations for western religion, children are counted on the maternal side) and in other cultures still, if several men sleep with a pregnant woman, all of them count as her baby's father.

You are exclusively relying on lazy pop-psychology seen on right-wing blogs and stereotypes from the 1950s, and this whole thing started because you forced biology into a discussion on modern pop-culture.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 21 Jan 2021, 16:12
A different perspective on some evo-bio data:

a feminist biologist discusses gender differences in the animal kingdom (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/04/13/a-feminist-biologist-discusses-gender-differences-in-the-animal-kingdom/?sh=13ed419919b5)

I personally find it quite reasonable.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 16:26
The fact that people have used, and still use, biology and science as basis for false claims does not make the biology and science false. That'd be very much throwing away the baby with the bathwater.

As for feminism going far enough or not, that depends on your interpretation of feminism and the goal of feminism, doesn't it? I've seen people call themselves feminists and call for equality among genders, I've seen people call themselves feminists and call for payback on all the wrongs women have ever suffered in order to punish men, I've even seen people call themselves feminists and call for the "destruction of all men". This is precisely why I dislike the term feminism, the lack of a clear and shared definition or goal. Egalitarianism has a far clearer term and does not differentiate among genders in its goal of equality. Abuse happens, both by men and by women. Once again the goal should be to reduce and remove that element of abuse for all.

And we keep saying it over and over, different cultures come to different conclusions from the same shared heritage and biology. Societies evolve and grow and choose different paths over time.

Again, I see very little to differ on here, and I don't see how anything I've said is anti-women. Sure, some people who genuinely are anti-women base their claims or justifications on the same science I base my worldview on, as people are free to draw conclusions, even false ones, from the same data (see: survivor bias). Me saying the sky is blue due to the wavelengths of light interacting with the atmosphere and someone else saying the sky is blue because God wills it doesn't change the fact that the sky is blue, nor should it.


Thanks for the link, Honza. Forbes REALLY wanted to fight my adblocker on trying to read the article, but I managed it in the end, and it seems very much agreeable and well reasoned. To me, at least.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 16:44
A different perspective on some evo-bio data:

a feminist biologist discusses gender differences in the animal kingdom (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/04/13/a-feminist-biologist-discusses-gender-differences-in-the-animal-kingdom/?sh=13ed419919b5)

I personally find it quite reasonable.
It is fairly reasonable on the most part, however, on part of men occupying the most hazardous and harshest jobs, in most countries, hazardous work like mining and similar is higher paid exactly because it is hazardous and unpleasant, whereas the jobs with less obvious hazards (like cleaning etc) are much lower paid. I just feel like that was a rather skewered generalization.
Thanks for the link, Honza. Forbes REALLY wanted to fight my adblocker on trying to read the article, but I managed it in the end, and it seems very much agreeable and well reasoned. To me, at least.
Curious how WHAM ignored every link with facts I posted, but immediately commented on this one, isn't it?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 21 Jan 2021, 16:49
it seems very much agreeable and well reasoned. To me, at least.

It is fairly reasonable on the most part

Is it just me or could there be some common ground emerging? :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 16:52
I didn't ignore your links, I just preferred to respond to what you actually wrote since you wrote quite a bit, whereas Honza just provided a link and not much else at this time, so it would have been rude to just ignore that input entirely. I also said before that I found nothing to argue about those links you posted, nor did I really disagree with anything therein.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 17:21
it seems very much agreeable and well reasoned. To me, at least.

It is fairly reasonable on the most part

Is it just me or could there be some common ground emerging? :)
If only it was that easy. I agreed with the reasoning that animals are different than humans and humans have no significant sex differences in brains,
but as I mentioned before, I also thought the text had a few skewered generalizations I didn't agree with.
I don't think there can be much common ground between believing that gender roles are imposed by society and believing they are mandated by biology.
I didn't ignore your links, I just preferred to respond to what you actually wrote since you wrote quite a bit, whereas Honza just provided a link and not much else at this time, so it would have been rude to just ignore that input entirely. I also said before that I found nothing to argue about those links you posted, nor did I really disagree with anything therein.
Then do you agree with this text (https://www.culture-of-peace.info/instinct/chapter5-6.html) explaining that banning women from bearing arms and learning to fight in earlier cultures has nothing to do with men wanting to protect women?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 21 Jan 2021, 18:02

My friends, please don't feed the heat. It wasn't my intention.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 18:12
Then do you agree with this text (https://www.culture-of-peace.info/instinct/chapter5-6.html) explaining that banning women from bearing arms and learning to fight in earlier cultures has nothing to do with men wanting to protect women?

Not really. To me it rather shows another example that culture can override the underlying biological instinct, which is something I pointed out earlier as well, along with pointing out that female warriors are also a thing in some historical societies. Just as our modern society is altering gender roles, such alterations have happened in the past, with some being more successful than others. I see nothing here that would really refute the underlying idea, though.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 21 Jan 2021, 18:13
Yawn!  Sorry, but I'm finding this topic exceedingly boring. The whole battle of the sexes issue is one that nobody can ever win.
Let's just learn to live together and enjoy each others company.

Now, where did I put my duster  :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Khris on 21 Jan 2021, 18:15
Quote
So me pointing out basic evolution and biology
Quote
The fact that people have used, and still use, biology and science as basis for false claims does not make the biology and science false.
Quote
human biology and evolution still equips the female for the role of nurture, and the male for providing, hard labour and combat

As puzzling as that may seem, these statements were all made by the same person. Who is also a Gamergate apologist:
Quote
I never said the gamergate situation had two equal sides, but there were still idiots on both sides making thins worse. More so on one side than the other, sure, but still. Stones and glass houses.
In other words, some Gamergaters made valid points about... ethics in gaming journalism, I guess?

And the "I consider myself an egalitarian" stance is the same deliberate obtuseness as "All Lives Matter"; the fact that a tiny fraction of self-proclaimed feminists are deluded people who want to "kill all men" does not (and should not) keep me from using the label "feminist" where appropriate, unless of course I'm regularly around people who think that "feminism is cancer" maybe? Maybe.

However, WHAM, the main point I'm trying to make here (and one you are in fact making for us), is that you are not willing to actually listen to people who tell you that some of your views are problematic, simply because you don't agree with that assessment. Which is precisely the problem in the first place.
You may not be actively hindering social progress, but every post of yours radiates that you are perfectly fine with the status quo, that you don't see any problem here, that efforts are indeed underway, you know (more female game protagonists, did you know?) It's like an extreme form of social libertarianism, where we should just let the marketplace of ideas take care of every social injustice, lest we might disrupt civil society. (Which will absolutely not work, as history keeps telling us, in case it needs to be spelled out.)

It's also curious how whenever anybody points out that they think we could improve society somewhat, along comes you, WHAM, posting and posting and posting endless "observations" (https://thenib.com/mister-gotcha/). A more suspicious person could get the idea you want to shut up a troublemaker.

You said something about malice recently, so I'm not going to insinuate you are doing this deliberately. But that is the effect of your posts, intentional or not.

edit: added emphasis
edit2: added link
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 21:25
Excellent points all in all Khris, WHAM, I suggest you read this comic:
Spoiler: ShowHide
(https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/feminism-gender-equality-comics-598c18b2d653a__700.jpg)
(https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/feminism-gender-equality-comics-598c18b525eaf__700.jpg)
(https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/feminism-gender-equality-comics-598c18b778443__700.jpg)
(https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/feminism-gender-equality-comics-598c18b97ae4a__700.jpg)
(https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/feminism-gender-equality-comics-598c18bb1686b__700.jpg)
(https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/feminism-gender-equality-comics-598c18bceabfe__700.jpg)


Furthermore, it's damn easy for men to spend a bunch of theories cementing gender roles as evolution when it paints them as the stronger and more rational sex, and the "biological" roles for women just happens to be subordination, child-rearing, and all the gross and boring housework these men don't want to do. But should a woman use biology and evolution to argue that males are simply too aggressive to be allowed leadership roles, and argue for mandatory vasectomies for all men once their wives or girlfriends don't want any more children, we all know that woman would be called a feminazi witch and worse immediately by the exact same men spreading the arguments WHAM keeps posting here.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 21:31
Did you just unironically compare caring for children and doing housework with having mandatory vasectomies? Or am I reading this wrong?
Also: rejoice! Not sure if you've heard but women aren't forced to do those things in any modern western society as far as I am aware. Can't speak for other parts of the world, though.

EDIT: I realised my statement above is a bit too rosy for reality. Even in Finland there are both religious minority group and immigrant communities that have forms of near-enough forced marriages and outdated gender roles that are still strictly enforced. I think religious freedom laws, unfortunately, trump gender equality laws in some areas.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 21:38
-AAA, sorry, I meant to edit post above, not make a double-post. Sorry, it's almost midnight and I'm tired!  :X-
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 21:45
Did you just unironically compare caring for children and doing housework with having mandatory vasectomies? Or am I reading this wrong?
Because forced marriages and domestic violence was used to impose those things on women.
EDIT: I realised my statement above is a bit too rosy for reality. Even in Finland there are both religious minority group and immigrant communities that have forms of near-enough forced marriages and outdated gender roles that are still strictly enforced. I think religious freedom laws trump gender equality laws in some areas.
Oh yeah, the classic "only those bad immigrant men are misogynists " shtick.
You do know painting violence against women as an exclusively immigrant/non-white problem is a classic alt-right talking point?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 21 Jan 2021, 21:51
Well, since Sweden is so close to Finland I'd expect the crime rate to be similar: can you find cases where forced marriage takes place among native Swedes outside of fringe religious communities?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 21 Jan 2021, 21:58
Well, since Sweden is so close to Finland I'd expect the crime rate to be similar: can you find cases where forced marriage takes place among native Swedes outside of fringe religious communities?
Forced marriage may be mostly within immigrant groups in Sweden, but I assure you that domestic abuse, sexual assault, and men murdering their wives are not.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 22 Jan 2021, 07:25
Sure, domestic abuse exists most definitely in western societies, and the majority of domestic abuse is done by men.
However, as laws and practices have tried to take this into account, some injustices have formed as well.

Finland had a case rise up to news a few years back, where a man called the emergency number as his wife was beating him, and the emergency line responder laughed at him on the phone and asked "are you seriously getting beat up by a woman?". This same stigma is believed to also slightly distort the numbers (78% of documented cases in Finland were committed against female victims) as men are disincentivized to report as victims, or to seek medical aid, for fear of ridicule.

And while the law is written as gender neutral, the standard procedure for police responding to domestic disturbances is to cuff and remove the male from the household first (to "defuse the situation"), and only then start questioning people to find out what was happening, even if the man was the victim in that case. This procedure is apparently based on the idea that in case there are children in the household, the mother is best suited to stay with them.

These in no way override or nullify the needs of female victims, but showcase situations where this supposedly male-dominated society is acting in ways that are unequal to men as well. Obviously the goal should be to reduce domestic violence altogether. I won't say eliminate, because human beings are, well... imperfect. A goal of non-violent utopian society where no crimes are committed is a wonderful idea, but if that goal is set I believe it will never be reached without erasing humanity as a concept and replacing it with something else.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Khris on 22 Jan 2021, 08:31
Where's the injustice that has formed here? Doesn't biology dictate that the man is always the abuser, since he's stronger and more combat ready than the feee-male?
Now if only we had a movement to point out that biology doesn't say that and you should rethink all your naive assumptions about topics you know nothing about.
This has been pointed out to online anti-feminists for years now: feminism also helps men.

Like I said, you're making the point for us.

Also, yes, let's erase humanity as a concept (?? ?) what the fuck are you even talking about? And have you ever heard the phrase that "perfect is the enemy of good"? Just word salad at this point.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 22 Jan 2021, 09:07
Where's the injustice that has formed here? Doesn't biology dictate that the man is always the abuser, since he's stronger and more combat ready than the feee-male?
Now if only we had a movement to point out that biology doesn't say that and you should rethink all your naive assumptions about topics you know nothing about.
This has been pointed out to online anti-feminists for years now: feminism also helps men.

Like I said, you're making the point for us.

Also, yes, let's erase humanity as a concept (?? ?) what the fuck are you even talking about? And have you ever heard the phrase that "perfect is the enemy of good"? Just word salad at this point.

I did say I was an egalitarian, did I not? Thus I believe the laws should be just and equal to all humans, and applied thus, and this has always been my stance. Once again you seem to imply that, despite me clearly saying one thing, I must be meaning an entirely different thing somehow. Thus I have no idea what "point" I am making for you, save for my point of equality being good, and if that is the case then I happily agree.  (nod)

And yes, some forms of feminism also help men, because they are the kind that strive for true equality. I also call those feminists egalitarian, as that is a far more appropriate term for them than feminist.

As for the concept of humanity and the inherent imperfections therein, I feel that is a separate discussion that doesn't really suit this topic. Though if you wish to discuss the matter in more detail, I'd be happy to have that conversation with you, Khris. Or anyone else for that matter.  :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Khris on 22 Jan 2021, 09:20
Looks like you missed my previous post (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58758.msg636631404#msg636631404).

Also thanks but no thanks.
I had folk laughing at me in 2016 when I said Trump might well win the presidency, but as we are in an election year again...

* clears throat *

FOUR - MORE - YEARS!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 22 Jan 2021, 09:36
Ha! I still got my MAGA hat, too! No regrets there, though I've no idea how that's relevant here. Still, thanks for the reminder!  :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Jan 2021, 10:31
Where's the injustice that has formed here? Doesn't biology dictate that the man is always the abuser, since he's stronger and more combat ready than the feee-male?
Now if only we had a movement to point out that biology doesn't say that and you should rethink all your naive assumptions about topics you know nothing about.
This has been pointed out to online anti-feminists for years now: feminism also helps men.

Like I said, you're making the point for us.
Indeed, I'm sick and tired of men who think they get to have it both ways. If you spout a bunch of stereotypes masked as "science" claiming men are not only naturally built for strength and protecting women, but also disposable and mostly OK with giving up their lives to protect women, and berate modern society for allowing men to grow flabby and weak, you can't be surprised when these stereotypes backfire on men and male victims of female violence get laughed at and treated as a ridiculous role-reversal.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 22 Jan 2021, 10:40
Oh well, since it matters not what I say, let us have some light-hearted humor.



EDIT: as someone who has been a victim of domestic violence: don't key your own car.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Jan 2021, 11:39
Oh yeah, just gonna joke the whole thing away once you realize people here won't stand for your sexism?  (wtf)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 22 Jan 2021, 11:56
Ah, yes, I see the name calling is on the menu once more.
I have no idea why you would think I am sexist, so I'll just have to deduce it's some sort of defensive mechanism on your part.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Jan 2021, 12:10
Ah, yes, I see the name calling is on the menu once more.
I have no idea why you would think I am sexist, so I'll just have to deduce it's some sort of defensive mechanism on your part.
I have spent several paragraphs in my replies for days now explaining why your claims are sexist, as have several other forum members,
and you dare imply it's all "some sort of defensive mechanism" in me? And pointing out what you yourself have written is not name-calling.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 22 Jan 2021, 12:32
Is this gonna turn into a who gets the last word contest?  Why don't you just bury the hatchet....in each others heads and call it a day.  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Khris on 22 Jan 2021, 15:59
I have no idea why you would think I am sexist
And how could you, given that you have zero capacity for self-reflection.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 22 Jan 2021, 16:28
Sorry to say this Khris, but I get the impression that you really enjoy fanning the flames.  :)

It really amazes me that, with Covid19 still on the rampage, certain people still spend every waking hour
analysing the written word, or other media, to pick up on anything that might cause offence. (i.e sexism,
racism and any other 'ism' you can think of)

All these issues pale into insignificance when you think of a patient, in a hospital bed, gasping for breath
and desperately clinging to life, having to focus all their energy  and willpower on surviving.

Enough of the complaining, Compared to what our forebears had to endure, we have it easy.


Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Jan 2021, 17:40
Barbwire, this entire thread was started analyzing media, if you don't want to have any form of critical discussion on how media affects people, why partake in this thread at all, and not stick to the forum topics dedicated to Covid if it's more pressing to you?

Also, sexist, racist and homophobic words and media are proven to affect real people's opinions, and make them more acceptable.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 22 Jan 2021, 17:42
It really amazes me that, with Covid19 still on the rampage, certain people still spend every waking hour
analysing the written word, or other media, to pick up on anything that might cause offence. (i.e sexism,
racism and any other 'ism' you can think of)

You could use this argument to deflect criticism of just about anything, surely? There's always something worse somewhere, or something that has been worse or could be worse.

I don't want to get off topic, but the idea that Covid 19 exists in a separate universe from racism is particularly strange. Black people, and other ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately affected by Covid 19 in the UK and elsewhere. We had a Conservative MP claim (apparently without evidence) that the Muslim and other ethnic minority communities were largely to blame for spreading the virus. It's not frivolous to be concerned about what you call 'isms,' it can be a matter of life and death.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: morganw on 22 Jan 2021, 18:21
Quote
Be excellent to each other
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 22 Jan 2021, 18:44
It might have started off as analyzing media, Blondbraid, but it quickly descended into a no holds barred contest between you, and wham, mainly
revolving around sexism.  The Covid19 reference was to try and put things in perspective. Not all Women are perfect. There have been female
murderers, women who ill treat their children, and those who beat their husbands. So, much the same as men who aren't perfect, either. Thats
equality  :)

One of the benefits of being a woman is that you don't get your nostrils full of hair, which you have to burn out with a lighter  8-0
 


Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 22 Jan 2021, 18:56
But it's not off-topic to discuss sexism in a thread about sexism in the media, is it?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 22 Jan 2021, 21:24
No it's not, Ali. However, if you read through the replies to TheFrighters first post, they have very little bearing on the subject matter.
Going by a later post, from him, it seems he was surprised at the reaction. When it gets into the realms of who should do the housework etc.
it has nothing to do with the main topic. As I said in an earlier post it would be nice if we could all just get on with one another  :)


 
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 22 Jan 2021, 21:28
morganw, my thoughts exactly. Let's follow Bill and Ted's mantra and "Party on, dudes" :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 22 Jan 2021, 22:39
Careful with the words, BarbWire. Keep being sensible like that and the torches and pitchforks might come your way soon!  :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 22 Jan 2021, 23:24
No it's not, Ali. However, if you read through the replies to TheFrighters first post, they have very little bearing on the subject matter.
Going by a later post, from him, it seems he was surprised at the reaction. When it gets into the realms of who should do the housework etc.
it has nothing to do with the main topic. As I said in an earlier post it would be nice if we could all just get on with one another  :)

Are you being serious? Because I don't see how you could honestly disagree that sexism is relevant to the topic of sexism in the media?

I also think it would be nice if we could get along and have an interesting conversation about the Bechdel test. From my point of view, what's made that difficult is people who seem to be uncomfortable with media criticism in general, or otherwise determined to minimise sexism.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Jan 2021, 23:47
I also think it would be nice if we could get along and have an interesting conversation about the Bechdel test. From my point of view, what's made that difficult is people who seem to be uncomfortable with media criticism in general, or otherwise determined to minimise sexism.
Indeed, I thought this thread was perfectly decent until creepy evo-psych crap and alt-right rhetoric painting sexism as biological was brought up.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: LimpingFish on 23 Jan 2021, 02:28
Just a heads up to say that General Discussion doesn't have a main moderator, and is instead open to all moderators to moderate. As such, I'm going to offer my own opinion on this thread.

We have somewhat drifted from the original intent of the thread, being as it was a question about the Bechdel test (and similar) and how it pertains to the media we consume. We seem to have entered into a general, and rather limiting (imho), argument about gender; one that likely won't result in either side changing their core belief system. There is a constructive debate to be had, but debates aren't about shouting the loudest, nor about expressing our disgust with the opposing viewpoint. Once we reach that point, we've may as well be screaming into a hurricane.

As a moderator, I will remind people that as soon as we enter into aggressive/personal insults (regardless of position), or posts that are intended to simply provoke, action will be taken. There is a way to disagree with someone that doesn't involve belittling that person, or their beliefs, regardless of how passionate (or right) you feel in your disagreement.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 23 Jan 2021, 09:07
You could be right Wham. I'm just slipping into my armour now  :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 23 Jan 2021, 09:08
You are right LimpingFish. I fell sorry for all this.

No it's not, Ali. However, if you read through the replies to TheFrighters first post, they have very little bearing on the subject matter.
Going by a later post, from him, it seems he was surprised at the reaction. When it gets into the realms of who should do the housework etc.
it has nothing to do with the main topic. As I said in an earlier post it would be nice if we could all just get on with one another  :)


Thanks, BarbWires!  :-D

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 23 Jan 2021, 09:13

Thank God for LimpingFish.  You have said everything I was trying to say, but evidently much more succinctly.
Also, you have authority as a moderator, which does help.  :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 23 Jan 2021, 09:20

You're welcome, TheFrighter. There is no need to be sorry., because you did nothing wrong.
I shall retreat into the background now and say no more on the subject.  :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 23 Jan 2021, 15:29
As a moderator, I will remind people that as soon as we enter into aggressive/personal insults (regardless of position), or posts that are intended to simply provoke, action will be taken. There is a way to disagree with someone that doesn't involve belittling that person, or their beliefs, regardless of how passionate (or right) you feel in your disagreement.

It certainly wasn't my intention to provoke or belittle anyone. In the spirit of debate, I'll address TheFrighter's original question:

I think the Bechdel Test, like any critical tool, can be very useful as long as it isn't applied with a pedantic rigidity. What I find interesting about it is that it's a neat little way of testing how rounded the female characters in a story are. Do they have their own interests and concerns, or are they there to serve a male character's narrative arc? As Crimson Wizard said, I think similar tests are instructive in different contexts. Even in science fiction, how frequently do we see two aliens talking about something that doesn't involve humans? Or in Hollywood, two non-Americans speaking about something that doesn't involve Americans. It draws attention to the way even self-consciously progressive shows like Star Trek implicitly place certain people at the centre of the universe.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 23 Jan 2021, 17:46
If everyone else whish to leave the arguing behind, I'm ready to do so too.
Or in Hollywood, two non-Americans speaking about something that doesn't involve Americans. It draws attention to the way even self-consciously progressive shows like Star Trek implicitly place certain people at the centre of the universe.
Indeed, I remember somebody pointing out that several "Oscar-bait" films, despite trying to show racism is wrong, like The Green mile, still failed to show people of color talk to each other about something that wasn't a white person.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 23 Jan 2021, 18:28
Indeed, I remember somebody pointing out that several "Oscar-bait" films, despite trying to show racism is wrong, like The Green mile, still failed to show people of color talk to each other about something that wasn't a white person.

At least in The Green Mile, you also have white people talking together about a black person.  (laugh) Like you said earlier in the thread, these rules aren't really rules and may be broken if that's how the story can be told in the best manner. I haven't seen The Green Mile more than once, so I cannot comment on the possibilites of improvement, but it's clearly nowhere near being a racist movie. In other Stephen King adaptations, they have occasionally cast a black actor playing someone who was white in the book, changing absolutely nothing in the dialogue or the way the character is portrayed. I can hear them arguing..."Yes, he was white in the book, but we can get Morgan Freeman! Morgan Freeman wants to play him!"  (laugh)

I remember watching a Star Wars film, I _think_ it might have been the first of the prequels. It occurred to me that they tried to cater to everyone: There were white male heroes, sure, but also women and black people. (I think there were also Asians, but I can't recall for sure.) And I remember thinking that they tried to give every possible audience member someone to identify with. And if you make your living selling action figures and t-shirts, that's undoubtedly a smart move. If there's some equality gained by it, all the better, but I felt that the real motive probably was profit.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 23 Jan 2021, 20:00
Not directly related, but I remember in one of the Knights of the Old republic games, one of the first missions/levels had you (a bunch of jedis) in an apartment complex on some random planet. At one point, one of the jedi was discussing local rebels who were attacking the apartment or something, and referred to them as "aliens".
I thought that was pretty funny. Humans gonna hume, and even the Jedi can't help being subliminally racist.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 23 Jan 2021, 21:41
Not directly related, but I remember in one of the Knights of the Old republic games, one of the first missions/levels had you (a bunch of jedis) in an apartment complex on some random planet. At one point, one of the jedi was discussing local rebels who were attacking the apartment or something, and referred to them as "aliens".
I thought that was pretty funny. Humans gonna hume, and even the Jedi can't help being subliminally racist.
(laugh) (laugh)
You know, this is in a Galaxy far away, a long time ago...so maybe the term "alien" was neutral then? A la how the terms "negro", "colored", "black" and "afroamerican" have shifted in how they are perceived. A jedi of today would say "unantropomorphic". No wait, that's just as bad. "Insectoid", perhaps? It's really difficult to find a neutral term.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: LimpingFish on 24 Jan 2021, 01:29
It certainly wasn't my intention to provoke or belittle anyone.

Understood. I was just speaking generally, rather than towards any specific person. :)

Indeed, I remember somebody pointing out that several "Oscar-bait" films, despite trying to show racism is wrong, like The Green mile, still failed to show people of color talk to each other about something that wasn't a white person.

Yes, it seems to be a long standing belief in Hollywood than the ongoing struggles of black people are only palatable to general audiences when filtered through a white prism (eg. The Help, Hidden Figures, Green Book, etc).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 24 Jan 2021, 21:14
Indeed, I remember somebody pointing out that several "Oscar-bait" films, despite trying to show racism is wrong, like The Green mile, still failed to show people of color talk to each other about something that wasn't a white person.

Yes, it seems to be a long standing belief in Hollywood than the ongoing struggles of black people are only palatable to general audiences when filtered through a white prism (eg. The Help, Hidden Figures, Green Book, etc).
Indeed, it's one thing when movies that only try to be middle-of-the-road entertainment follow trite conventions and fail to represent non-white people, but when films that really try hard to depict an important message against racism and prejudice yet still fail to show people of color as having any lives outside centering white people...  (wrong)

Probably the worst part of it is that I know several old people who'll happily gobble up these sort of cliched oscar-bait stories, yet dismiss Black Panther, a film which actually did have African persons talk about things that weren't white people, as just another stupid superhero movie because it didn't follow the film award formula of being a somber drama with sad violin music and consisting 90% of slow dialogues.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 04:34
As a moderator, I will remind people that as soon as we enter into aggressive/personal insults (regardless of position), or posts that are intended to simply provoke, action will be taken. There is a way to disagree with someone that doesn't involve belittling that person, or their beliefs, regardless of how passionate (or right) you feel in your disagreement.

It certainly wasn't my intention to provoke or belittle anyone. In the spirit of debate, I'll address TheFrighter's original question:

I think the Bechdel Test, like any critical tool, can be very useful as long as it isn't applied with a pedantic rigidity. What I find interesting about it is that it's a neat little way of testing how rounded the female characters in a story are. Do they have their own interests and concerns, or are they there to serve a male character's narrative arc? As Crimson Wizard said, I think similar tests are instructive in different contexts. Even in science fiction, how frequently do we see two aliens talking about something that doesn't involve humans? Or in Hollywood, two non-Americans speaking about something that doesn't involve Americans. It draws attention to the way even self-consciously progressive shows like Star Trek implicitly place certain people at the centre of the universe.

Usually in literature you get a majority of characters being there for purposes of juxtaposition to the main character(s). For example, someone may be hideous, to allow for the protagonist to be identified as more decent. It's in essence the same trick that (supposedly) was used to lure a girl, by paying someone to attack her and then defeating him (I mean I never used it, but maybe some people are into capitalist planning :P ).
Furthermore, a book where every character is their own thing, simply does not work. It's why art isn't a mimesis of life, but something inherently more poetic, and also why the more realistically-inclined authors rarely get to become famous or stand the test of time. Dickens>Collins etc.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 25 Jan 2021, 08:43
So has anyone here actually used the Bechdel test or any similar rule? What changes did it bring to your story?

Also when you think of a new character, do they come with a fixed gender right away, or do you sometimes change characters' genders later?

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 10:00
Usually in literature you get a majority of characters being there for purposes of juxtaposition to the main character(s). For example, someone may be hideous, to allow for the protagonist to be identified as more decent. It's in essence the same trick that (supposedly) was used to lure a girl, by paying someone to attack her and then defeating him (I mean I never used it, but maybe some people are into capitalist planning :P ).
Furthermore, a book where every character is their own thing, simply does not work. It's why art isn't a mimesis of life, but something inherently more poetic, and also why the more realistically-inclined authors rarely get to become famous or stand the test of time. Dickens>Collins etc.
I think I speak for the vast majority of women when I say the "paying another dude to fake-attack the girl so you can play the hero" is less romantic and more of a huge red flag showing the guy is willing to lie and manipulate people if it benefits him, and there are outright predators who stalk women and insist of walking after them even when they've said no under the guise of "following her home to keep her safe", and the fact that so many men still don't get how this might be creepy or immoral or treat it as harmless fun just proves that we need more stories that can help men learn to see women as people like themselves and not prizes to be won or fought over.

Again, not every story needs to pass any of the tests mentioned, the problem is when you have a huge number of authors with a big cast of several well-rounded characters, but the female characters are all shallow stereotypes who only exist to tell something about male characters (victims who only show up to demonstrate the bad guy is evil, random girls showing up to fawn over the hero to show he's handsome) is unfair and dehumanizing to women. Why is this so hard to understand?
So has anyone here actually used the Bechdel test or any similar rule? What changes did it bring to your story?

Also when you think of a new character, do they come with a fixed gender right away, or do you sometimes change characters' genders later?


Well, I've pondered the Behdel test when writing some of the dialogues for my games, but as I've mentioned before, with the nature of video game storytelling being different from film, it's harder to apply to video games where you play as a male protagonist because it's rare to feature two npc's talk to each other in a part integral to the story in most games, especially if you make a small indie adventure with a limited cast and cutscenes, hence why I think this test I posted would be more relevant to games;
1. A named female character (with an actual name, not a generic title)
2. Who has a full conversation with the player character/protagonist (more than two sentences),
3. And her conversation isn't about a romantic or sexual relationship with the player character

And I've tried to have most of the games I've made pass these criteria, the only exceptions being the first AGS game I ever made where I couldn't think of a name for the queen, a short game set entirely in a monk monastery, and a mags project where all characters were prehistoric animals without much dialogue at all, and I'm certainly not going to hold it against any other game makers here if they don't pass the criteria for similar reasons.

Now, I often come up with a character's gender right away, but that's mostly to do with the fact that I'm a graphics-oriented person and start with a visual image of a character before doing things like dialogue, plus it's harder to re-draw sprites than to change pronouns in text.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 10:19
Fwiww, the "paying someone to attack a girl so you could save her" was a joke  :=

Also, as a writer I can tell you that while everyone who writes has his/her own style, you very rarely will see a story that has real-life autonomous characters, and even if you do chances are it won't be a good story. Unlike the real world, a story has a specific plot, climax, planning, deliberate diversion of the reader's attention so they don't see what is going to happen and a load of other literary elements. If you just focus on the characters being their own thing, you are highly unlikely to end up with something worth reading, imo :)

Then again, I actually have very few characters in my works, and the writers I like also do that.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 12:11
Fwiww, the "paying someone to attack a girl so you could save her" was a joke  :=
I know, but it's not something I've seen women joke about in such a manner, and most women don't think guys treating them as objects to manipulate is particularly funny, because if you're a woman, a guy lying to you to get your attention is too often a very real concern, not to mention having a guy pretend to be a would-be attacker would be absolutely terrifying to most women, especially considering many people can and do get PTSD from being assaulted, even if the attacker was fought off.
Whilst not quite as severe, I'll cite this blog post (https://fugitivus.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/a-woman-walks-into-a-rape-uh-bar/) to try and paint a picture explaining it;
Quote
I read about the rift that began in SNCC during Freedom Summer, when during a training video on voter suppression, white workers started giggling at the fat Southern white dude on the screen. To them, he was a stereotypical representation of a laughable and ridiculous Southern character. To the black workers, he was a very real and very brutal enemy.
Also, as a writer I can tell you that while everyone who writes has his/her own style, you very rarely will see a story that has real-life autonomous characters, and even if you do chances are it won't be a good story. Unlike the real world, a story has a specific plot, climax, planning, deliberate diversion of the reader's attention so they don't see what is going to happen and a load of other literary elements. If you just focus on the characters being their own thing, you are highly unlikely to end up with something worth reading, imo :)
Again, there is a difference between writing "real life", and treating female character with the same depths as male characters.

No one is demanding every single female character should have a full real-life biography, but I'll explain again, if male characters can several personality traits and a role in the story outside of being "a guy", so should female characters. Female characters doesn't need to be super deep, but they shouldn't be reduced to "the girl" character. You can have a simple scientist character giving exposition be female, or make any of the background characters female, but so many writers fail even this low bar and have only one female character and she's a stereotypical love interest who is just there to be hot, and that sucks if you are a woman who wants to see women portrayed as human beings. How hard is this to understand? I don't know how to simplify this any further.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 12:18
It's not hard to understand, it is just (imo) the wrong way to look at literature. Now if we are talking about some movie/tv show, it is more realistic to achieve that without ruining everything. But in literature you simply cannot prioritize autonomy of characters.
It's even relatively rare to see any decent book that has more than two protagonists; the rest are there for plot reasons or juxtaposition.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 12:37
It's not hard to understand, it is just (imo) the wrong way to look at literature. Now if we are talking about some movie/tv show, it is more realistic to achieve that without ruining everything. But in literature you simply cannot prioritize autonomy of characters.
It's even relatively rare to see any decent book that has more than two protagonists; the rest are there for plot reasons or juxtaposition.
Really? From my experience, in books, you have more time and pages to flesh out the characters, and a character doesn't have to be the protagonist to be an interesting and fleshed out character.

Take the Harry Potter books, whilst Harry is the protagonist, there are still several diverse and nuanced female characters in them, like Hermionie, Professor McGonagall etc, or if you want a classic example, Lady McBeth in Shakespeare's play McBeth
is a supporting character in a play with a male protagonist and a very limited number of characters, yet she's still praised as an interesting role with her own motivations and character arc.

If an author can't write nuanced or diverse characters for 50% of the population, that's a limitation on the author, not a limitation of literature.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 12:45
It's not hard to understand, it is just (imo) the wrong way to look at literature. Now if we are talking about some movie/tv show, it is more realistic to achieve that without ruining everything. But in literature you simply cannot prioritize autonomy of characters.
It's even relatively rare to see any decent book that has more than two protagonists; the rest are there for plot reasons or juxtaposition.
Really? From my experience, in books, you have more time and pages to flesh out the characters, and a character doesn't have to be the protagonist to be an interesting and fleshed out character.

Take the Harry Potter books, whilst Harry is the protagonist, there are still several diverse and nuanced female characters in them, like Hermionie, Professor McGonagall etc, or if you want a classic example, Lady McBeth in Shakespeare's play McBeth
is a supporting character in a play with a male protagonist and a very limited number of characters, yet she's still praised as an interesting role with her own motivations and character arc.

If an author can't write nuanced or diverse characters for 50% of the population, that's a limitation on the author, not a limitation of literature.

I don't know about Potter so couldn't comment,
but Lady McBeth isn't there as a fleshed out character; McBeth himself isn't fleshed out either. LMcB serves very specific purposes in the plot, namely to push McBeth to take the place of the king. Later on she becomes mad, but it's not like any specific personality was there to wash out along with the damned spot.
In other words, you can think of her as the definition of a complementary character who is there for set reasons.

Edit: If you want theatrical characters who are -in a way...- their own thing, try your countryman (?) Strindberg  := (I can't say I like his plays...)

Edit2: I really am not seeing what you are going on about "a limitation of the author". You can't be of the view that the major writers were that interested or even able to be socialites. I already alluded to the rather blatant (because they lived in the same era, and even knew each other) Dickens vs Collins thing: Collins is internationally almost an unknown, while Dickens is probably one of the two most famous writers of the UK.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 25 Jan 2021, 12:58
So has anyone here actually used the Bechdel test or any similar rule? What changes did it bring to your story?

Also when you think of a new character, do they come with a fixed gender right away, or do you sometimes change characters' genders later?


I've often thought about doing a jokey little easter egg in one of my games where 2 female background character discuss someone called "Bechdel" or the like, but I'm pretty sure I've seen a game or two do that exact same thing.
The point is, as I think has been mentioned in this thread already, using the Bechdel test to check an individual game for discrimination or handling of female characters in media is not really useful. It's more about using it to see specific trends- an individual game/book/movie/tv show failing the Bechdel test doesn't mean anything. The vast majority of them failing it points to something wrong in the portrayal of women in media.

Personally (not that I've made all that many games), but when I'm writing out a game, I go back after the characters outlines are done and see if there's any reason I chose a specific set of traits for that character, and what would happen if I changed them.


Edit2: I really am not seeing what you are going on about "a limitation of the author". You can't be of the view that the major writers were that interested or even able to be socialites. I already alluded to the rather blatant (because they lived in the same era, and even knew each other) Dickens vs Collins thing: Collins is internationally almost an unknown, while Dickens is probably one of the two most famous writers of the UK.
I don't know if this analogy is better or worse for you, but I liken it to a game where you meet a guard whose two lines of dialogue are "Grumble Grumble, I am hungry, when is my replacement coming?!" and "Oh wow, thank you for the lunch buffet pass, can you keep an eye on my post while I go make use of it?!", compared to a game where you meet a guard character who is just sullen and snappy at you, who has a short angry dialogue with a pizza delivery lady when he can't pay her, who the butcher tells you used to come almost weekly to get a big juicy steak, but is coming less often now, who the banker tells you has an overdraft, and whose wife tells is always whittling horses for his kid.

I'd say if someone wrote the first rather than something like the second, it would be down to a "limitation of the author" (or of time or other resources).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 25 Jan 2021, 13:38
Usually in literature you get a majority of characters being there for purposes of juxtaposition to the main character(s). For example, someone may be hideous, to allow for the protagonist to be identified as more decent. It's in essence the same trick that (supposedly) was used to lure a girl, by paying someone to attack her and then defeating him (I mean I never used it, but maybe some people are into capitalist planning :P ).
Furthermore, a book where every character is their own thing, simply does not work. It's why art isn't a mimesis of life, but something inherently more poetic, and also why the more realistically-inclined authors rarely get to become famous or stand the test of time. Dickens>Collins etc.

I think what you're saying is most often true of movies, games and folktales - where characters frequently do flatly perform structural roles. But 19th Century realism is dominated by writers who absolutely did devote page after page to creating characters who are, as you put it, 'their own thing'. Dickens is particularly renowned for his colourful and varied portrayals of supporting characters.

I love Wilkie Collins, but his 'sensational' novels weren't a great deal more realist (or realistic), so I don't think I understand the point you're making.

but Lady McBeth isn't there as a fleshed out character; McBeth himself isn't fleshed out either. LMcB serves very specific purposes in the plot, namely to push McBeth to take the place of the king. Later on she becomes mad, but it's not like any specific personality was there to wash out along with the damned spot.

I agree that Shakespeare isn't doing psychological realism - but it hadn't been invented. Moving the story forward and being a rounded character aren't mutually exclusive. Lady MacBeth has her own goals and concerns.

If I can contrast that with a very badly written character: Madison Paige keeps trying to help the protagonist of Heavy Rain even though he seems disturbed and violent and she has every reason to suspect he's a serial killer. She stays in his motel room and bandages his wounds and takes huge risks for him. Why? They just met and he's awful. But the story has only been thought through from the protagonist's perspective.

(I think, later on, it explains explain that she has some journalistic interest. But the game is happy to rely upon the players' assumption that she has simply fallen in love with Sketchy Joe.)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 14:11
I'd say that Dickens has characters who are caricatures, not realistic. Collins has some more realistic characters, at least in his short stories, but despite becoming very famous in England, he is basically an obscure writer globally.
In writing nothing is really alive in the first place, so the characters are born as symbols and spend most of their life as that; they may change to be symbols of other things, of course.
But imo if a writer creates a character meaning to make them realistic and treat them as a person, this doesn't end well in the very confined and economic structure of literature.
Then again, who knows, maybe it's not unrelated to that that I detest Zola and think De Maupassant's dark period was supremely better than his previous run as a quasi-realist.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 14:12
but Lady McBeth isn't there as a fleshed out character; McBeth himself isn't fleshed out either. LMcB serves very specific purposes in the plot, namely to push McBeth to take the place of the king. Later on she becomes mad, but it's not like any specific personality was there to wash out along with the damned spot.

I agree that Shakespeare isn't doing psychological realism - but it hadn't been invented. Moving the story forward and being a rounded character aren't mutually exclusive. Lady MacBeth has her own goals and concerns.

If I can contrast that with a very badly written character: Madison Paige keeps trying to help the protagonist of Heavy Rain even though he seems disturbed and violent and she has every reason to suspect he's a serial killer. She stays in his motel room and bandages his wounds and takes huge risks for him. Why? They just met and he's awful. But the story has only been thought through from the protagonist's perspective.

(I think, later on, it explains explain that she has some journalistic interest. But the game is happy to rely upon the players' assumption that she has simply fallen in love with Sketchy Joe.)
Well, Lady McBeth isn't a realistic character, however, as Ali put it, she does have her own goals and concerns, she has a distinct personality and you can tell what her motivations are and why she does what she does.

And I couldn't agree more on Madison from Heavy rain, and what really bothered me throughout my playthrough
Spoiler: ShowHide
was that whilst all the male characters had clear reasons as to why they were pursuing the killer from the start, and all their scenes felt relevant to their characters and their suffering part of their individual character arcs, all Madison did was acting like a maybe possible love interest to Ethan, and all here scenes were full of gendered violence presented in a creepy voyeuristic way; random balaclava dudes bursting into her home to attack her(which was a dream sequence and didn't even affect the story), being caught by a  serial killer strapping her to a table and menacing her with his power drill, she has to play sexy to get near some mafia dude who then tries to force her to strip at gunpoint, and basically, nearly all her scenes felt like an excuse to put a fetishistic torture-porn scenario into the game in a way that none of the male protagonists were.


Anyway, KyriakosCH, I've always been taught that while you can't always achieve realism in all stories, a good writer should always strive to create the illusion that their characters are living people who happen to become part of the story and not just constructs only there to move the plot forward, and in my opinion, if the audience starts to feel that characters don't make sense and it very much feels like they only do something because the plot says so, or a character is only there to be a symbol of something, that story usually isn't a particularly well-told story.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 14:17
Ok :) I certainly don't mean to antagonize (that has a place in writing, not forum posting :D ).
On my part I view anything in literature as interlinking relations anyway, so in that sense there is really only ever one character, and that one character is supposed to be a vehicle to carry the reader to some avenues of thought and/or emotion.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 14:25
Ok :) I certainly don't mean to antagonize (that has a place in writing, not forum posting :D ).
On my part, I view anything in literature as interlinking relations anyway, so in that sense, there is really only ever one character, and that one character is supposed to be a vehicle to carry the reader to some avenues of thought and/or emotion.
Well, from my perspective, if you only tell one type of story, centering on one character, there is a big risk that one's writings become samey, for lack of a better word, and some authors fall into the trap of only writing characters who comes across as self-inserts, but I've always been partial to stories focusing on several different characters, and I'd find it hard to write a compelling protagonist if the side characters around them were static and didn't have enough characterization to leave room for them too to change alongside the protagonist.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 14:33
I mean that even if there are many characters, they are all one vehicle - they don't exist in the first place; they are symbols to allow you to travel in your own world of thought.
Which is also why I mentioned that having fleshed-out characters is more realistic a goal in movies/tv shows ^_^ (because then you start with actual people anyway; those playing the roles)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 15:00
I mean that even if there are many characters, they are all one vehicle - they don't exist in the first place; they are symbols to allow you to travel in your own world of thought.
Which is also why I mentioned that having fleshed-out characters is more realistic a goal in movies/tv shows ^_^ (because then you start with actual people anyway; those playing the roles)
Well, personally, I've seen plenty of live-action TV with less realistic characters than some of the greatest animated films.

Just, for example, I think Moses and Ramses in Dreamworks The Prince of Egypt are way more nuanced and fleshed out as characters than about 90% of the people in Bond movies.

But while I can agree that all fictional characters start out as a thought in one's head, if you don't work to bring them out into the world, they'll just stay as thoughts in your head.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 25 Jan 2021, 15:09
I mean that even if there are many characters, they are all one vehicle - they don't exist in the first place; they are symbols to allow you to travel in your own world of thought.
Which is also why I mentioned that having fleshed-out characters is more realistic a goal in movies/tv shows ^_^ (because then you start with actual people anyway; those playing the roles)

I really don't see it that way - quite the opposite. Films last a couple of hours, whereas Brothers Karamazov is 800 pages long. The best film ever made can't (and shouldn't have to) compete in terms of depth of character. Of course Dickens uses caricature, but realist writers use exaggeration and grotesquery without reducing characters to floating symbols or levers that need to be pulled.

It's very easy for films to give the impression of realism, because they can use real people and naturalistic photography. I think this amplifies the problems the Bechdel test draws attention to - when a female character seems real, but actually acts in a superficial and highly idealised way.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 15:37
I think that part of the reason Dostoevsky has rather impressively fallen from grace in the last 20 years, is that in his larger works he tried to present a semi-realistic group of characters. Of course, due to himself being rather peculiar, half of those are epileptic or verminous or caricatures or exist to have a specific showdown with someone else (say Satov, in the Possessed, which features a load of characters). I have read (in my late teens) his four main novels, but prefer some of his short stories, like the Dream of a Ridiculous person.
That said, I am not approaching the issue as a reader, but as a writer, so for me there are very distinct dynamics in what I personally do. Obviously no two authors are alike, but it is imo true that most of the classic authors, whose work remains for decades or centuries, are not known for realism in characters.
Then again, so-called realism is its own literary genre. I am personally not very interested in it; my favorite writers include Kafka, Borges, Poe, De Maupassant.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 25 Jan 2021, 15:56
I'm not a particular fan of realism either, but I'm not sure what the relative popularity of Dickens and Collins, or Dostoevsky's declining popularity would tell us?

Most of the people here are writers of one kind or another, and we understand that characters have a structural role to play in narrative. But it's reductive to say that all characters are merely symbols, and it also allows writers to abdicate all responsibility. "You can't be upset about [crude stereotype] because that character was merely a product of my imagination!"
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 25 Jan 2021, 16:04
In the type of narrative that I am interested in (as a writer, most of all), the characters are symbols. That doesn't mean they come across as fake, but it means that they aren't there as figures in a documentary either. Perhaps it is better to give an example from a work by F. Kafka.
The Metamorphosis can be identified in various ways, you can think it is some kind of slightly altered realism (the protagonist was transformed into a beetle-milipede hybrid, but other than that the rest of the world seems generally realistic), but knowing Kafka (and his diaries) the story is very clearly an allegory about mental problems and the sense that you no longer are really human. None of the characters are "fleshed-out" in the way it is expected to in this thread ( :) ), for example:
-Gregor's sister is only there to become his antagonist and ultimately make him give up
-Gregor's mother is the only force of the world which tries to keep him attached
-Gregor's father is a manifestation of the risk of punishment or even destruction
-The people from his work have an even less subtle use: greedy opportunists who turn on him immediately and don't even believe he is sick.
-The three tenants are even more formulaic, have a leader and are a final nail on the coffin - as for the old cleaning lady, she is barely a character and is mostly some vile person who feels singular joy on account of Gregor's predicament because he is now in a way lower even than her.
All that is not what you'd see if you saw a documentary about mental illness or burdened people in families. And this is for the better, because such a documentary would never rise to the level of a classic work of literature  8-)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 25 Jan 2021, 16:27
It's a long time since I read Metamorphosis, but I have to say that your summary of the characters makes it sound a great deal more dull than I remembered. If the characters are merely there to mechanically perform narrative functions, why bother? I admit, I have a particular dislike for self-conscious symbolism, and narratives in which everyone apart from the protagonist is a sort of puppet.

But still, there's no reason realist literature should be better than symbolist writing when it comes to including women. There's no rule that says symbolist protagonists must be men. The bar for being 'fleshed out' is low. To pass the Bechdel test, you only need two female characters to be interested in something other than a man. It's funny because it's incredibly banal, and also surprisingly rare.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 25 Jan 2021, 16:28
So, ageism isn't high on your list of subjects worth holding forth on, Blondbraid. You say you know several 'old' people,
who evidently don't know what they are talking about. I suppose in your view they are dribbling idiots who should be
shut away in a home. Mind you, after being subjected to your self opinionated views they would no doubt find it a
blessed release.  :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 25 Jan 2021, 16:38
So, ageism isn't high on your list of subjects worth holding forth on, Blondbraid. You say you know several 'old' people,
who evidently don't know what they are talking about. I suppose in your view they are dribbling idiots who should be
shut away in a home. Mind you, after being subjected to your self opinionated views they would no doubt find it a
blessed release.  :)

Didn't you just praise LimpingFish for asking us to refrain from deliberately provocative, personal attacks?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 25 Jan 2021, 17:01
Yes I did praise Limping fish, Ali. What I said is not an attack on Blondraid. I personally found what she said
about older citizens to be insulting.  It didn't bother you then? And, in my defence the thread, once again,
apart from the last couple of posts, seemed to be straying from the main topic. 
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 25 Jan 2021, 17:31
She didn't generalise about old people as a group, she was lightly critical of old individuals she knows. There's no basis for your speculation that she thinks they are "dribbling idiots". When you say they would rather be shut away in a home than listen to Blondbraid, that is unequivocally a personal attack.

Even if you think the thread has gone off topic (I don't) I don't know why you choose to drop in with personal attacks and non-sequiturs. I thought you wanted to "be excellent to each other."
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 25 Jan 2021, 17:55
It is now becoming a personal attack on me, if you hadn't noticed. I don't need to justify my posts to you ...so I won't.
I'm sure Blondbraid is quite capable of answering me, if she wants to, without you sticking your oar in. Enough said.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 25 Jan 2021, 18:25
Shall we bring the kettle off the fire, for now? Write not in affect now what you can thresh out, mill and bake into something sharper later, as my aunt never said.

Nonetheless, here comes a few loafs now.

On matters of biology and roles, I am unsure; I simply do not know. Although I am rather inclined to believe nurture over nature. While there are many things about me that is dictated by my flesh, I doubt that my reflex to take a woman's luggage is in my blood, as much as in my mind. The coils in my flesh is not why I reflexively pay the bill when I take a sweet-heart out for dinner. Nor indeed why I am inclined to hear the horn of the White Knight on occasion. Nor that when I am about to do something I do not like, I rally myself with the words 'be a man!' At least, I do not think so. It is a complicated matter, but I would say that it is insufficiently certain to claim biological fact to what is human mannerism. At their better, it hardly needs to be.
There are always certain facts of biology, but they do not need to mean what we presently think, and more to the point, they must be considered along with the environment in which we live.
As a man, I suppose I may have a 'head-start' on musculature, but being a man of a plentiful and relatively peaceful age, my ability to kill a lion with a spear remains woeful. I doubt that a woman, if we assume similar circumstance to mine, would be particularly worse at it than me. What differences we may have in predisposition to the task of spearing poor Mr Whiskers are likely to be nuture, as opposed to nature.


On the matter of censorship. I shall say that a discussion is not censorship. It is well fair to have a grievance, formulate it and bring it up.
Of course, some 'discussions' seem to come with pre-decided conclusions and actions attached, and those can jolly well bog off, but a discussion on itself is precisely that. A talk. A question. A grievance. Things can get ugly, and in this weather, they many times do, but there is still a sense of proportion. The participants of a discussion are generally not allowed to club each other dead. It is a talk, one that will hopefully bring forth some new considerations.

I cannot say that I agree with every conclusion on matters such as this, but listening is free. If a discussion comes with the 'understanding' that failure to agree and act on its conclusions was some sort of 'dog whistle', an indication of hate that must lead to a swift, forceful response, it would be, but someone raising a grievance in a structured manner is not an act of censorship.
Removing social media profiles, getting in touch with someone's employer to have them fired (or indeed having the former PM that now runs the national herring bank close their accounts on vague charges of money laundering) is censorship. Presenting things that you think matter and should change, and being animate when you do it, is not.

Why, I think practically all contemporary architecture is an utter scam, an ugly waste, and I am not censoring modern architects until I directly or indirectly silence or stop them. I can propagate for the cause of stopping their vandalism, provided I do it well and refrain from calling them hideous things, but I cannot write them threatening letters or slash their tyres. I cannot demand that architects should not be allowed to speak. Modern architects are also free to disagree (provided they have some better point than that I would see their beauty, too, if I spend too much time in the same schools as they), but it ends, of course, when they ring up my employer.

Tests such as the Bechdel example are not, to my mind, censorship until works that fail them are stopped, in short. It is as useful a measure as you make it. It is a possibility for discussion, and a useful tool if you do feel the need to use it. It is, if nothing else, a good ground for you to consider your own conditions and considerations.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 25 Jan 2021, 19:24
Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House fails the Bechdel test. The five main characters in the play actively talk about the ones not present on stage, so of course the two female leads talk about the male leads. Nonetheless, the play is a classic about a woman standing up for herself. In addition, all these five characters have their own agenda, their own goals, their own dreams.

Kurt Vonnegut said that every character should want something, even if it's just a glass of water. Quentin Tarantino has a habit of writing one scene roles like if the character is really important.

I think my view of writing and literature is quite different from Kyriakos's, but that's perfectly ok. I guess many writers specialize in one form, while many avid readers need variation. (And some read or write the same story again and again in some form.) Both when reading and writing, I'm jumping to conclusions that are not always correct. I remember reading several hundred pages into a Stephen King novel before it was dropped in passing that one of the main characters was black. I'd assumed, incorrectly, that he was white. I arrest myself in projecting my own experiences into narratives, thinking that the norm is a white male. This is partly attributed to being what I know about, of course, but I believe it's also a part of the patriarchal tradition this thread is about. Blondbraid fooled me in a game with only animals - I had assumed I was playing a male without thinking about it. The point couldn't have been made clearer. :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 20:00
It is now becoming a personal attack on me, if you hadn't noticed. I don't need to justify my posts to you ...so I won't.
I'm sure Blondbraid is quite capable of answering me, if she wants to, without you sticking your oar in. Enough said.
I am, and I ask, whatever did I do to you? It just feels like you are trying to start an argument with me even after I said that I wanted to stop arguing in this thread.

And I think Ali did a valid observation, as I'm not trying to be ageist, and if I was, please cite what offended you.
I mentioned in passing that some old people I know, and I don't even dislike said people, have a prejudiced movie taste, preferring melodramatic dramas over well-crafted superhero stories,
this doesn't mean I think every old person has bad taste or doesn't know what they're talking about. I was trying to share a subjective anecdote on some people I know, not insult all old people,
and I don't understand how you could read that from my comment.

I don't want another argument here.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 25 Jan 2021, 22:21

Why not?  I quite enjoy our exchanges. It helps pass the time  :-D

Seriously, though, you have done nothing to me, and I'm not normally an argumentative person. 

I am simply saying it is wrong to presume that older people prefer melodramatic dramas. I am no longer in the first flush of youth, myself,
but I like Sci-fi, action packed thrillers and basically any film with a well written script that doesn't contain the F word over and over again.
In my mind this does nothing for the production.  I also like hacking and slashing games. A great way to combat stress.

It is nice that you have friends willing to speak up for you. I will leave you alone now, and make no further comments in this thread :X
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 25 Jan 2021, 22:34

Why not?  I quite enjoy our exchanges. It helps pass the time  :-D

Seriously, though, you have done nothing to me, and I'm not normally an argumentative person. 

I am simply saying it is wrong to presume that older people prefer melodramatic dramas. I am no longer in the first flush of youth, myself,
but I like Sci-fi, action packed thrillers and basically any film with a well written script that doesn't contain the F word over and over again.
In my mind this does nothing for the production.  I also like hacking and slashing games. A great way to combat stress.

It is nice that you have friends willing to speak up for you. I will leave you alone now, and make no further comments in this thread :X
Well, it wasn't my intention to make it sound like all older persons only like melodramatic dramas, I'm well aware that there are diverse tastes in all age groups.
I have other old relatives who like action movies too. (roll)

With that said, don't refrain from commenting on this thread for my sake if you have anything you'd want to share on the subject matter.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Matti on 25 Jan 2021, 23:31
It is nice that you have friends willing to speak up for you. I will leave you alone now, and make no further comments in this thread :X

Erm... this isn't a privat chat, this is a forum, so everyone willing to do so speaks their mind.

It is now becoming a personal attack on me, if you hadn't noticed. I don't need to justify my posts to you ...so I won't.
I'm sure Blondbraid is quite capable of answering me, if she wants to, without you sticking your oar in. Enough said.

Again, this isn't a private chat and definitely not a dialog between two people, so what do you mean with "sticking your oar in"? This is a public forum with a lot of people involved, who are discussing certain topics (and don't know each other). And it's weird, that in an open discussion you're saying that you don't need to justify your posts. Especially when it gets personal and you imply or assert things that other members have supposedly say, which they didn't and when they even say that it wasn't their intention, then it's good that people point that out. You can stand by what you said and bring arguments for that, you can apologize etc., but just dismissing the criticism is really a bad habit. I remember you excessively criticizing a person who accidently posted a game in the wrong forum. People criticised that post of yours, the person in question apologized a lot, but for some reason you didn't bother to even aknowledge that you might have gone a little overboard or to clarify things, let alone maybe apologize.

My point is just that of course everyone is responsible for their posts in an online forum and everyone can be criticized for its content. Otherwise every discussion would be totally meaningless anyway (online or in 'real life').
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 26 Jan 2021, 04:20
It's a long time since I read Metamorphosis, but I have to say that your summary of the characters makes it sound a great deal more dull than I remembered. If the characters are merely there to mechanically perform narrative functions, why bother? I admit, I have a particular dislike for self-conscious symbolism, and narratives in which everyone apart from the protagonist is a sort of puppet.

But still, there's no reason realist literature should be better than symbolist writing when it comes to including women. There's no rule that says symbolist protagonists must be men. The bar for being 'fleshed out' is low. To pass the Bechdel test, you only need two female characters to be interested in something other than a man. It's funny because it's incredibly banal, and also surprisingly rare.

Meh. Here I was, trying to share some of my beyond awesome knowledge, and a snark is the response  :=
Anyway, I actually have run seminars on the work of Kafka for a few years, while only the actual author knows truly in the end, I am pretty sure I am more aware of the meaning, structure and dynamic of his stories than most  ;)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 26 Jan 2021, 09:18
I'm sorry - I wasn't trying to be snarky! I know you're very widely read and you obviously know your Kafka.

I'm sure you're right that (e.g.) the sister is the antagonist. What I find unappealing about your character breakdown is the idea that she is only there to become the antagonist - that she and all the other characters stand for nothing in their own terms. It seems reductive to me. But I'm not saying you're wrong, just that this kind of character writing doesn't appeal to me.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 26 Jan 2021, 12:17
Οκ ^_^
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 27 Jan 2021, 21:49
I just wanted to add that I wound up seeing the film Queen of the Desert which Reiter mentioned, and whilst I personally liked it and found it atmospheric,
I do understand that Werner Herzog films can be quite an acquired taste, and this film is mostly about taking in the mood rather than expecting a gripping story.  (roll)

What surprised me the most is how this film could slip completely under my radar for 6 years, especially considering all the famous actors involved.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 05 Feb 2021, 12:10
I just thought I'd share the male protagonist bingo from this blog post (https://gomakemeasandwich.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/male-protagonist-bingo-a-study-in-cliches-many-images/);

(https://gomakemeasandwich.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/male-protagonist-bingo.jpg?w=700&h=770)

Granted, it's mostly based on AAA video games, but I still think it's worth pondering in regards to how society tells stories about men.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 05 Feb 2021, 13:00
Computer games are a good example of an artform in which it certainly is not enough for one to be a writer to create something of worth. From that it easily follows that you focus less on the character in the first place.
Of course if you are a massive company, you will have different people doing the writing than those working on gfx/animation/coding and the rest. But writing itself can have character if one person does it, and you already are limiting your writers by the other elements of the game.

One example of a game created by just one person (apart from the main music) is, of course, Another World. And there the main character was also something vague, let alone that there was just the one protagonist. But the game did have style and affected a lot of people - myself included :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 05 Feb 2021, 15:14
One example of a game created by just one person (apart from the main music) is, of course, Another World. And there the main character was also something vague, let alone that there was just the one protagonist. But the game did have style and affected a lot of people - myself included :)
I agree that not all stories need a protagonist with a detailed backstory, however, there is a difference between making the protagonist a blank slate in order to focus on gameplay and/or worldbuilding,
and create a protagonist which does have a full name and backstory, give him lots of dialogues, and render him as detailed as possible, and still treat said protagonist like somebody everyone could and should be able to personally relate to.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 05 Feb 2021, 16:49
It's not always needed for something to work, though - as in Another World.
We don't know anything about the protagonist, other than that he is a particle physicist, drives a Ferrari and can hold his breath under water for an impressive amount of time :D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 05 Feb 2021, 16:51
I heard (the writer) Antony Horowitz making the observation that Tintin was much less well characterised (in terms of drawing) than Hergé's other characters, and expanding on the advantage of having a somewhat blank protagonist for children's stories. And, between Another World and Hitman there are a lot of blank canvas protagonists in games.

But it's interesting to note which characters get to be blank slate protagonists. We seem more ready to embrace it when those characters are the 'default' white, male, straight etc.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 05 Feb 2021, 17:20
Usually the more specific traits a character has, the more people won't be identifying with them. There are ways to go around this, of course, but they mostly involve the character reacting to something more central (say Big Brother, in 1984; Winston is just a cog in the machine and a reaction to it; most readers would tend to react in a similar way)

There are also sub-types, such as the loner (in Lovecraft's works this is very typical). If you are a loner and a teen, chances are you will identify.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 05 Feb 2021, 18:30
Spoiler: ShowHide
(https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/4638b4bf-a698-40cb-aae1-7f18d42a352b/ddj0iyv-b9e75cc3-3836-4041-9042-f0207e13db3c.png/v1/fill/w_989,h_808,q_70,strp/comic_about_movie_test_by_blondbraid_ddj0iyv-pre.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3siaGVpZ2h0IjoiPD0xMDQ1IiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvNDYzOGI0YmYtYTY5OC00MGNiLWFhZTEtN2YxOGQ0MmEzNTJiXC9kZGowaXl2LWI5ZTc1Y2MzLTM4MzYtNDA0MS05MDQyLWYwMjA3ZTEzZGIzYy5wbmciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9MTI4MCJ9XV0sImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl19.xGJsoamJ8zQYYVs7bdOVlDxMhM4H_Q1-3bE52slXprY)


It come in my mind that the closest movie to pass the Flintenweiber test could be Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers ... but in the end is not a WWII movie.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 05 Feb 2021, 19:01
Usually the more specific traits a character has, the more people won't be identifying with them. There are ways to go around this, of course, but they mostly involve the character reacting to something more central (say Big Brother, in 1984; Winston is just a cog in the machine and a reaction to it; most readers would tend to react in a similar way)

I appreciate that, but what I'm getting at is that "being a woman" or "being black" are seen as specific character traits, with which fewer people can identify. The white male protagonist is often treated as neutral and universal, which clearly reflects a social bias.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 05 Feb 2021, 19:11
Usually the more specific traits a character has, the more people won't be identifying with them. There are ways to go around this, of course, but they mostly involve the character reacting to something more central (say Big Brother, in 1984; Winston is just a cog in the machine and a reaction to it; most readers would tend to react in a similar way)

I appreciate that, but what I'm getting at is that "being a woman" or "being black" are seen as specific character traits, with which fewer people can identify. The white male protagonist is often treated as neutral and universal, which clearly reflects a social bias.

Maybe this is so. I'd like to think that if the protagonist is black/female I'd just read the story the same way, as long as the writer presents them in a neutral manner (as with the generic male protagonist, who tends to be an avatar of the writer if they are male too anyway) :)

That said, I had no problem identifying with the (female) protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper, by Perkins-Gilman. It is a great story.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 05 Feb 2021, 20:03
I rarely identify myself with any character - that's not how I think. I can relate and try to understand them, but identification is not high on my list of needs. One of my favourite authors is Terry Pratchett, and I don't feel the need to "be" stumbling wizard Rincewind or hard-as-rocks witch Granny Weatherwax in any manner. But I enjoy their stories anyhow.

The original point in the thread is akin to Simone deBeauvoir's idea about women as "the other sex", stating that the norm is seen to be male. The easiest way to change this is to simply make stories about women or any other character trait not viewed as the norm. And the real reason why the norm holds up so well, is probably lazyness. There are some great stories told about brooding vigilantes with a troubled past, and then there are the copycats that are not so well written. For that matter, an arguably great character like Batman is considered great because there are good stories about him, but there are just as many stories that are terrible. But the success of Batman will then spawn similar characters that try to outdo the original in some way, like using guns, being more violent or any of the other boxes you could check. These other characters will most likely not be as interesting.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 05 Feb 2021, 20:12
Spoiler: ShowHide
(https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/4638b4bf-a698-40cb-aae1-7f18d42a352b/ddj0iyv-b9e75cc3-3836-4041-9042-f0207e13db3c.png/v1/fill/w_989,h_808,q_70,strp/comic_about_movie_test_by_blondbraid_ddj0iyv-pre.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3siaGVpZ2h0IjoiPD0xMDQ1IiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvNDYzOGI0YmYtYTY5OC00MGNiLWFhZTEtN2YxOGQ0MmEzNTJiXC9kZGowaXl2LWI5ZTc1Y2MzLTM4MzYtNDA0MS05MDQyLWYwMjA3ZTEzZGIzYy5wbmciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9MTI4MCJ9XV0sImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl19.xGJsoamJ8zQYYVs7bdOVlDxMhM4H_Q1-3bE52slXprY)


It come in my mind that the closest movie to pass the Flintenweiber test could be Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers ... but in the end is not a WWII movie.

_
Yeah, it's pretty much the only sci fi film I can think of that portrays 100% gender equality, with women with practical clothes in all kinds of societal positions and none of them being questioned for it,
compared to a great number of films and games that tries to portray a future world where race, gender and sexuality isn't an issue, yet either 90% of all characters in important roles are still white dudes,
or they have many female characters doing everything the guys do, but they have to do it in ridiculous fetish costumes, high heels, and a bunch of impractical gear that only serves to pander to straight men.
Usually the more specific traits a character has, the more people won't be identifying with them. There are ways to go around this, of course, but they mostly involve the character reacting to something more central (say Big Brother, in 1984; Winston is just a cog in the machine and a reaction to it; most readers would tend to react in a similar way)

I appreciate that, but what I'm getting at is that "being a woman" or "being black" are seen as specific character traits, with which fewer people can identify. The white male protagonist is often treated as neutral and universal, which clearly reflects a social bias.

Maybe this is so. I'd like to think that if the protagonist is black/female I'd just read the story the same way, as long as the writer presents them in a neutral manner (as with the generic male protagonist, who tends to be an avatar of the writer if they are male too anyway) :)

That said, I had no problem identifying with the (female) protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper, by Perkins-Gilman. It is a great story.
Well, it seems a lot of straight white guys can empathize with women and minorities just fine if they want to, the problem is that so many media creators never treat them as characters that could be empathized with in the first place.

It really bothered me as a child in the 90s to see that all mainstream kid's movies at the time had male protagonists, and the story was always told from their point of view, the exception being the Disney princess movies, but the only Disney heroine I could really relate to was Mulan,
because she was the only female protagonist I could remember from my childhood who got to be goofy, get dirty and messed up, and had her own story that wasn't centered on romance.

The problem with the older Disney princesses is that they are more preoccupied with being "good role models" than relatable characters, but I could never relate to how Snow White and Cinderella just loved singing and wanting to marry a prince,
and most egregiously, how they loved doing housework, Cinderella even singing as she's forced by her abusive family to swab the floors on her knees.

(Though if the Song of the south, the Roustabout song from Dumbo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EacanMEeEM) and the black centaur from Fantasia is something to go by, Walt Disney seemingly had a habit of portraying oppressed people as being happy and singing whilst forced to do labor and being servants... :-\)
For that matter, an arguably great character like Batman is considered great because there are good stories about him, but there are just as many stories that are terrible. But the success of Batman will then spawn similar characters that try to outdo the original in some way, like using guns, being more violent or any of the other boxes you could check. These other characters will most likely not be as interesting.
I think a pretty apt illustration of the double standard is that when Batman and Robin bombed, executives decided it was simply because it was a badly made film and made a more serious reboot of Batman a short time later, but when Halle Berry's Catwoman flopped, Hollywood decided it was because audiences didn't want to see black or female superheroes, and it took decades before we got a female and a black superhero in Wonder Woman and Black Panther respectively, and they were both treated as a big political statement on equality when they came out.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 05 Feb 2021, 20:36
I think a pretty apt illustration of the double standard is that when Batman and Robin bombed, executives decided it was simply because it was a badly made film

I wonder if it's relevant that Joel Schumacher was gay, and Batman and Robin is very camp. It was also quite bad. But plenty of gritty, macho action movies bomb and we never come to conclusion that audiences just don't like them.

Like you say, no one watches a bad male comedian concludes that they don't like male comedy, but that often happens with female comedians. And it's a judgement that men and women make, and that is often made on behalf of audiences.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 05 Feb 2021, 20:42
It really bothered me as a child in the 90s to see that all mainstream kid's movies at the time had male protagonists, and the story was always told from their point of view, the exception being the Disney princess movies, but the only Disney heroine I could really relate to was Mulan,
because she was the only female protagonist I could remember from my childhood who got to be goofy, get dirty and messed up, and had her own story that wasn't centered on romance.

There also was "Xena Warrior Princess", but ofcourse it was much more dirty, messy and bloody compared to Disney standards :D.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 05 Feb 2021, 20:49
I can't say if the norm for males was to actually like the action characters. I certainly didn't - I wouldn't identify with He-man or similar ^_^ I almost always supported the "evil" characters anyway, and was more interested in the japanimation of the era (not as much because I was a proto-hipster, but probably more due to my own megalomaniac ideas at the time).

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 05 Feb 2021, 21:31
I think a pretty apt illustration of the double standard is that when Batman and Robin bombed, executives decided it was simply because it was a badly made film and made a more serious reboot of Batman a short time later, but when Halle Berry's Catwoman flopped, Hollywood decided it was because audiences didn't want to see black or female superheroes, and it took decades before we got a female and a black superhero in Wonder Woman and Black Panther respectively, and they were both treated as a big political statement on equality when they came out.
That may well be the case. But I also believe that it was of importance that the Batman franchise already had some successful movies (and a lot of classic comics) before the Batman and Robin-flop. I don't remember much about the Halle Berry catwoman film, except that the character had some catlike powers and wasn't much like the comics character (who is a cat burglar). Halle Berry was a great Storm in the X-Men films, but sadly underused.

Now if only someone could make a movie about the Martha Washington graphic novel...
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 05 Feb 2021, 21:35
It really bothered me as a child in the 90s to see that all mainstream kid's movies at the time had male protagonists, and the story was always told from their point of view, the exception being the Disney princess movies, but the only Disney heroine I could really relate to was Mulan,
because she was the only female protagonist I could remember from my childhood who got to be goofy, get dirty and messed up, and had her own story that wasn't centered on romance.

There also was "Xena Warrior Princess", but ofcourse it was much more dirty, messy and bloody compared to Disney standards :D.
True that, though I was older when I started to watch Xena.  :)
I can't say if the norm for males was to actually like the action characters. I certainly didn't - I wouldn't identify with He-man or similar ^_^ I almost always supported the "evil" characters anyway, and was more interested in the japanimation of the era (not as much because I was a proto-hipster, but probably more due to my own megalomaniac ideas at the time).


I can't speak for what men think of the heroes they grew up with, though I know a lot of kids of both sexes identify with or cheer on cartoon villains, partially because it can be fun to rebel, but also, at least with Disney, they make the vilains much more expressive and varied than the heroes, they're allowed to be much more distinct and memorable when they aren't constrained by ideas of being handsome/pretty and "good role models".
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 06 Feb 2021, 16:45
(http://www.retroyak.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kahi4p.jpg)

Hmmmmmmm  :=

(from the game It Came from the Desert)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 06 Feb 2021, 22:48
And, between Another World and Hitman there are a lot of blank canvas protagonists in games.


I don't think Dr Lester (the main character in Another World) is a blank canvas. Just because he doesn't speak, doesn't mean he is not developed as a character. One of the greatest things about Another World is its capacity to use what I call "play don't tell" to convey its story through gameplay without any exposition. It is through the interactions in the game that you discover who Dr Lester is. The simple fact that he is introduced as a top scientist but is wearing a t-shirt and drives a sports car is meant to show you the character breaks the trope of scientists being either big nerds or old men. Coupled with the remote yet dishevelled location where his project happens, you can see him as an outcast in the scientific community. During the game you discover he is more resourceful than the average scientist, if only because he doesn't freak out in front of what happens. One moment that says a lot about Dr Lester's personality is when he is first confronted to the aliens who will capture him: the second they appear, he stands and raise his hands with a confident face, like he has notions of anthropology and knows how to display himself in a friendly and non-threatening manner to a civilisation who doesn't know him. Then he smiles crack. Etc etc, the game shows a well written character through the game and not through text.

I'd also challenge that Tintin was a blank canvas. Hergé wanted to express Tintin as a child-like and seemingly weak character who always win against big mean guys. In early albums, Tintin is portrayed as prodigiously strong despite being shorter than everyone else: in The Blue Lotus three huge thugs are sent to knock him out but he single-handled kick their asses instead. In later albums, the little guy outsmarts everyone. Hergé wanted to convey a message to readers that being a little boy was not going to be an obstacle to triumph from adversity. All of Tintin's counterparts in foreign countries are always portrayed the same way: Chang, arguably Tintin's dearest friend, is portrayed as shorter than any other Chinese person and wearing the most simple clothes when everyone else in the streets of Shanghai is wearing colourful attires. In Tintin in Tibet, the brave sherpah who will help Tintin save Chang similarly is portrayed with the most simple features. Hergé had a taste for humility and simplicity of character that he wanted to see win the day. That's why Haddock only becomes virtous and noble when he reaches down to Tintin's humility, otherwise he would only be an alcoholic failure, and that's why villains like Colonel Sponz or Rastapopoulos are always portrayed as sophisticated and colourful. Hergé in The Blue Lotus, inspired by his own interaction with a Chinese person, quotes Laozi urging you to "find the way", and finding the way implies going back to simplicity and humility, sincerity - a lot of Tintin is about that. It's more than a blank canvas.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 07 Feb 2021, 00:59
I don't think Dr Lester (the main character in Another World) is a blank canvas... I'd also challenge that Tintin was a blank canvas.

I'm sure you're right about Another World - I haven't played it and was extrapolating from what KyriakosCH said about it. I'm sure I misinterpreted it.

Regarding Tintin, Horowitz was saying that Tintin was visually less characterised, in terms of linework - simple, boyish, neutral. It's not a criticism of the character design or writing. Where does Tintin live? Who are his parents? It's not really important, just like we don't really care what George Stobbart (who might be a lawyer, but it doesn't really matter) was doing before he took a holiday to Paris. I would say being amiable, brave and quite strong are exactly the qualities that would make a somewhat blank character appealing.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 07 Feb 2021, 05:59
Lester certainly learned how to cope with danger, after dying a few hundred times - with special animated sequences for each type of death  :=
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Snarky on 07 Feb 2021, 16:47
Where does Tintin live? Who are his parents? It's not really important

I don't disagree with the overall point, but where Tintin lives is fairly well established: in most stories he lives in an apartment—regularly shown—in a city that is explicitly or implicitly identified as Brussels (though Hergé sometimes takes liberties with the geography, for example giving the city a port in The Crab with the Golden Claws). In the later stories he appears to have moved in with Haddock at the Château de Moulinsart (Marlinspike Hall) as a more or less permanent houseguest.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 07 Feb 2021, 17:32
(http://www.retroyak.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kahi4p.jpg)

Hmmmmmmm  :=

(from the game It Came from the Desert)
Seems like a pretty apt (and cringey) example on how to alienate female players form the narrator.  (roll)

Meanwhile, compare to when the developers behind Remember me wanted their female protagonist to have a male love interest, and was for real met with this response from their publishers (https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-03-19-dontnod-publishers-said-you-cant-have-a-female-character):
Quote
"We had people tell us, 'You can't make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that's going to feel awkward.'"
And so, while Remember me got to keep a female protagonist, they did remove any reference to any romantic feelings she may have had in the final game.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 07 Feb 2021, 17:42
Where does Tintin live? Who are his parents? It's not really important

I don't disagree with the overall point, but where Tintin lives is fairly well established: in most stories he lives in an apartment—regularly shown—in a city that is explicitly or implicitly identified as Brussels (though Hergé sometimes takes liberties with the geography, for example giving the city a port in The Crab with the Golden Claws). In the later stories he appears to have moved in with Haddock at the Château de Moulinsart (Marlinspike Hall) as a more or less permanent houseguest.
Indeed, though I'd also argue a good way to tell how well defined a character is is asking weather you can tell something they do is out of character.

For example, with Tintin, if someone were to write him willfully bullying a kid, most would recognize it as vastly out of character because Tintin has always been portrayed as kind and willing to stand up for the weak and vulnerable.
Meanwhile, loads of video games star blank slates and amnesiacs because you can't break character if you have no character to begin with, and so it doesn't strike players as cognitive dissonance if they try to do a bunch of random stuff
playing with the game mechanics with their characters.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 07 Feb 2021, 17:59
Seems like a pretty apt (and cringey) example on how to alienate female players form the narrator.  (roll)

I can see the cringe factor, sure, (I know from experience that, when waking up in a hospital, the sexiness of nurses is the last thing on your mind) but not really how this would alienate women any more than men. I hear the women I know regularly refer to other women as "lovely" or other variations of "hot", whether they be straight, bi or gay, so this off-hand remark of someone looking pretty doesn't seem all that gendered to me.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 07 Feb 2021, 19:35
 := :=
(https://i.imgur.com/N9xJ7xy.png)
Although even while making it, I realised that although I never played the game (so I can't tell if the nurse's loveliness was played for laughs or whether it was supposed to be subverted when she later turns into an insectoid alien or something), I don't even need to do the change to feel it is offputting and alienating. I mean, what exactly did the developers think of me?

Although one of the most memorable (for all the bad reasons) was the introduction of one of the characters in the grimdark sequel to the lovely Sands of Time game
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f9/53/e5/f953e551808b3a0ed0581c132c5d2dc8.gif)
I can't remember something that annoyed me more with how little the developers obviously thought of me. She was a major antagonist character (might have joined the protagonist at some point, I didn't play long enough to find out), and she was supposed to be this super bad-ass ( :tongue: ) warrior rogue woman.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 07 Feb 2021, 20:00
Seems like a pretty apt (and cringey) example on how to alienate female players form the narrator.  (roll)

I can see the cringe factor, sure, (I know from experience that, when waking up in a hospital, the sexiness of nurses is the last thing on your mind) but not really how this would alienate women any more than men. I hear the women I know regularly refer to other women as "lovely" or other variations of "hot", whether they be straight, bi or gay, so this off-hand remark of someone looking pretty doesn't seem all that gendered to me.
Well, a straight woman will have a hard time empathizing with a man describing how much he's into girls, so when it's written in such a cringey manner that effect is multipled tenfold.

For example, I can appreciate a well written romance and in the case of Farah from Prince of Persia or Elena from Uncharted, I can empathize with the male character falling for them because they are presented as interesting characters in their own right,
but when it's just "Oooh, look a pretty lady", well, I can't relate to that and that just feels like cringe.

Babar really hit the nail on the head there!  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 07 Feb 2021, 20:06
(http://www.retroyak.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kahi4p.jpg)

Hmmmmmmm  :=

(from the game It Came from the Desert)
Seems like a pretty apt (and cringey) example on how to alienate female players form the narrator.  (roll)

Meanwhile, compare to when the developers behind Remember me wanted their female protagonist to have a male love interest, and was for real met with this response from their publishers (https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-03-19-dontnod-publishers-said-you-cant-have-a-female-character):
Quote
"We had people tell us, 'You can't make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that's going to feel awkward.'"
And so, while Remember me got to keep a female protagonist, they did remove any reference to any romantic feelings she may have had in the final game.

They could have made her have a female love interest  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 07 Feb 2021, 20:26
:= :=
(https://i.imgur.com/N9xJ7xy.png)
Although even while making it, I realised that although I never played the game (so I can't tell if the nurse's loveliness was played for laughs or whether it was supposed to be subverted when she later turns into an insectoid alien or something), I don't even need to do the change to feel it is offputting and alienating. I mean, what exactly did the developers think of me?

 :-D Good one!

Although women tend to be a little more sophisticated when it comes to drooling over medical staff ;)

x1 x2 x4 x8
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 07 Feb 2021, 21:33

 :-D Good one!

Although women tend to be a little more sophisticated when it comes to drooling over medical staff ;)

x1 x2 x4 x8

Yes and no, it's not that in general women are less attracted to bare abs than men are to revealing outfits on women, it's that women are more aware of how silly it would look if men wore such outfits to work with a straight face!  :P
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 08 Feb 2021, 09:21

Although one of the most memorable (for all the bad reasons) was the introduction of one of the characters in the grimdark sequel to the lovely Sands of Time game
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f9/53/e5/f953e551808b3a0ed0581c132c5d2dc8.gif)
I can't remember something that annoyed me more with how little the developers obviously thought of me. She was a major antagonist character (might have joined the protagonist at some point, I didn't play long enough to find out), and she was supposed to be this super bad-ass ( :tongue: ) warrior rogue woman.

Uh! I never played this game, but this scene seems the most audacious in the games industry!  :-\

And obviusly a leather t-string is extremly unconfortable if you have to fight, so it's really gratuit.

_

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 08 Feb 2021, 10:49
I think it's safe to say that pretty much all areas of the entertainment industry, including videogames, have done a pretty poor job at sensible outfits and appearances.
Then again, the name of the game is "entertainment", so it comes down to target audience and what entertains them. For a long time most mainstream videogames are aimed at the teenage market, where titillating ass and titty shots are a pretty surefire way to draw some attention, free publicity and easily distracted audiences.

As the saying goes: He is not a fool who offers to sell, the fool is the one who buys.
(Original finnish saying: "Ei se tyhmä ole joka myy, vaan se joka ostaa.")

But yeah, just like the clumsy gender representation and minority representation in popular media, representing the human body and its sexual aspects have always been something very few business enterprises do a good job of. One just has to keep in mind: they're not in the business of education, information or enlightening. They're in the business of making money by entertaining. And as even the most modern games have proven (see again a recent prime example in Cyberpunk 2077): sex sells.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 08 Feb 2021, 11:14
Uh! I never played this game, but this scene seems the most audacious in the games industry!  :-\

And obviusly a leather t-string is extremly unconfortable if you have to fight, so it's really gratuit.

_


Leather? It was made of metal!  :grin:
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 11:36
Regarding the whole "sex sells" idea, it only sell to some horny dudes, but it will alienate just as many women.

For example, I liked the first Metro 2033 game, and I looked forward to it's sequel, but when I read that there was going to be a mandatory cutscene where you saw the male protagonist have sex from a first-person view,
and the player would be encouraged to visit brothels and pay for lap dances, I immediately lost all interest and decided I do not want to play the game ever. Even Angry Joe pointed out the tone-deaf absurdity of it. (https://youtu.be/TLLJ94mUjUQ?t=124)

Meanwhile, when Final Fantasy released a character design for a male character in a revealing outfit (https://www.usgamer.net/articles/mobius-mevius-final-fantasy-hero-too-sexy), they immediately had to re-design it because they acknowledged that it made male players uncomfortable.
And there wasn't even any nudity or sex scenes, he was just wearing a tight outfit that was still less revealing than that of many female final fantasy characters. The double-standard is obvious.

Plus there's the whole bit about how it's scientifically proven objectification literally makes it harder for viewers to see women as human if there wasn't reason to hate it already.


Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Feb 2021, 12:34
Is it known what percentage of players are female by now?
Obviously in the old days it was negligible - I am sure it isn't negligible now, but possibly it's still a small minority  :(
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 08 Feb 2021, 12:53
Is it known what percentage of players are female by now?
Obviously in the old days it was negligible - I am sure it isn't negligible now, but possibly it's still a small minority  :(
I believe women now make a slight majority of all gamers (i.e. the populations match overall populations of women and men).
But that dodges the point that the whole "but we don't have an audience for that" argument is rubbish. If you only make games catered towards one specific demographic, that demographic will always be the one overrepresented in your audience. It isn't a one-way cause and effect, the cause is the cause.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 08 Feb 2021, 13:28
So just to be clear, the issue here isn't with objectification and sleaze, it's the objectification and sleaze being one-sided?

Imagine a world where for every game that exists now, a gender-swapped version (with t-strings turning into loincloths, cleavage into abs, and so on) is also available. Is everything ok in that world?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 13:42
Is it known what percentage of players are female by now?
Obviously in the old days it was negligible - I am sure it isn't negligible now, but possibly it's still a small minority  :(
You ought to read this article on how games started out gender-neutral but became marketed as boy toys. (https://www.polygon.com/features/2013/12/2/5143856/no-girls-allowed)
So just to be clear, the issue here isn't with objectification and sleaze, it's the objectification and sleaze being one-sided?

Imagine a world where for every game that exists now, a gender-swapped version (with t-strings turning into loincloths, cleavage into abs, and so on) is also available. Is everything ok in that world?
If you want my personal opinion, no, I don't want a world where men are equally objectified because treating humans like meat sucks.

However, as things are decidedly NOT equal today and so many men will defend degrading portraits of women without question, making gender-swapped counter examples of men in the same position
serves as a way to cast light on the double standard and and attempt to show straight men just how ridiculous much of the objectification is.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 08 Feb 2021, 13:55
If you want my personal opinion, no, I don't want a world where men are equally objectified because treating humans like meat sucks.

However, as things are decidedly NOT equal today and so many men will defend degrading portraits of women without question, making gender-swapped counter examples of men in the same position
serves as a way to cast light on the double standard and and attempt to show straight men just how ridiculous much of the objectification is.

So when you wrote this,

For example, I liked the first Metro 2033 game, and I looked forward to it's sequel, but when I read that there was going to be a mandatory cutscene where you saw the male protagonist have sex from a first-person view,
and the player would be encouraged to visit brothels and pay for lap dances, I immediately lost all interest and decided I do not want to play the game ever.

there are actually two different issues you take with the game? It's not wrong for a game to feature a POV sex scene, but you are annoyed that such scenes only cater to men and you never get to play one from a woman's perspective. Meanwhile, brothels and lap dances are just wrong and shouldn't exist, regardless of gender. Do I understand your perspective correctly?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Feb 2021, 14:02
For the record, I am (obviously :) ) not in favor of presenting females as sex objects in games. I wouldn't mind if games present males as sex objects (I probably wouldn't be interested in those games ^_^ ). In various media it is usually the lazy (but often profitable or at least passable) option to replace the difficult parts (story/characters/writing) with something easy like having anime with large breasts. Those shows aren't taken seriously and (at least to me) are impossible to take seriously even if they happened to have a story to speak of  (laugh)

That said, I am not against presenting human sexuality in games. Seems pretty natural. I would have to suppose that male sexuality is rarer because traditionally boys were playing those games and they preffered Lara Croft ^_^

Btw, even the aforementioned Another World has some female nudity. Although it is alien women (I think there was no alien male nudity).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 14:32
If you want my personal opinion, no, I don't want a world where men are equally objectified because treating humans like meat sucks.

However, as things are decidedly NOT equal today and so many men will defend degrading portraits of women without question, making gender-swapped counter examples of men in the same position
serves as a way to cast light on the double standard and and attempt to show straight men just how ridiculous much of the objectification is.

So when you wrote this,

For example, I liked the first Metro 2033 game, and I looked forward to it's sequel, but when I read that there was going to be a mandatory cutscene where you saw the male protagonist have sex from a first-person view,
and the player would be encouraged to visit brothels and pay for lap dances, I immediately lost all interest and decided I do not want to play the game ever.

there are actually two different issues you take with the game? It's not wrong for a game to feature a POV sex scene, but you are annoyed that such scenes only cater to men and you never get to play one from a woman's perspective. Meanwhile, brothels and lap dances are just wrong and shouldn't exist, regardless of gender. Do I understand your perspective correctly?
Well, I'm not against all forms of sex scenes if the characters are portrayed respectfully, I thought Bioware made an OK job with the romances between crewmates in Mass Effect for example, and the sims series portray it as a natural part of romantic relationships for all parties involved, but from what I've seen of the Metro 2034 scenes, people complained that it came out of nowhere, and there weren't any women in the game who weren't sex objects.

As for brothels in games, I find it massively disturbing how many games will portray horrific worlds full of violence, slavery and oppression, yet still portray brothels ar harmless fun-houses filled with hot ladies who just love offering all kinds of services to strangers, despite in the real world, most people in prostitution face abuse and exploitation.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Feb 2021, 14:39
Prostitution is organized (also taxed) and legal in most european countries (although not all). It's not far-fetched to view it as another part of the world, and afaik most prostitutes do that difficult job because they want to get a considerable amount of money fast and then never look back.
Of course it is entirely different if you have illegal prostitution and trafficking rings...
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 14:51
Prostitution is organized (also taxed) and legal in most european countries (although not all). It's not far-fetched to view it as another part of the world, and afaik most prostitutes do that difficult job because they want to get a considerable amount of money fast and then never look back.
Of course it is entirely different if you have illegal prostitution and trafficking rings...
1. Most of the video games I'm talking about do not take place in countries with a sound legal system and protections for the vulnerable, they explicitly take place in violent medieval societies or post-apocalyptic hellscapes.

2. Even today in the western world, there is a massive trafficking problem and most prostituted people are coerced into it, and about 90% would leave the sex trade if they could. (https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-30978567.html)
When it's this bad today, you can only imagine how horrible it must have been in historical times where no protections against stds or unwanted pregnancies existed and slavery was legal.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Feb 2021, 14:56
Medieval prostitution - and current illegal prostitution - most likely are/were terrible :)
I assume that being a legal prostitute is a better profession than similar ones: being a pornstar (again, if we assume it is not coerced) seems a lot worse a career decision, since a prostitute can always just leave the job and not look back (I think that the vast majority of legal prostitutes work in a different country, for this reason), but once a pornstar one is always known as a pornstar...

As for games, specifically, I don't know if prostitution makes sense there. If it is targeted at male teens, all kinds of wild ideas about sex will find a fanbase :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 08 Feb 2021, 15:02
Hi fellow agsers. 'Tis I BarbWire

I said, a while ago, that I would refrain from posting on this subject, but I just couldn't resist the temptation.

I've got a brilliant idea. Why don't we all stop playing games and watching movies (basically anything that gives us pleasure) and do
away with entertainment in general. This way there will be nothing to complain about  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 15:41
As for games, specifically, I don't know if prostitution makes sense there. If it is targeted at male teens, all kinds of wild ideas about sex will find a fanbase :)
Well, I personally wold say portraying prostitution in a dark medieval/post apocalyptic setting as fun and sexy makes about as much sense as if a WW2 game would portray a German POW camp as a wild summer camp full of fun and games.  (wrong)
Hi fellow agsers. 'Tis I BarbWire

I said, a while ago, that I would refrain from posting on this subject, but I just couldn't resist the temptation.

I've got a brilliant idea. Why don't we all stop playing games and watching movies (basically anything that gives us pleasure) and do
away with entertainment in general. This way there will be nothing to complain about  (laugh)

Then how about instead of trolling people in this forum, you go back to troll the traditional way and go sit under a bridge? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Billy_Goats_Gruff)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 08 Feb 2021, 18:54
but from what I've seen of the Metro 2034 scenes, people complained that it came out of nowhere, and there weren't any women in the game who weren't sex objects.

I would agree that that scene in metro comes out of nowhere; and it actually kind of shocked me, not in sexual way, but rather as a very dumb and character and immersion breaking thing. To elaborate, it came right after two characters escape from what was practically a massive war crime location where lots of people died of a virus or were finished of by a "cleaning" team. They then are placed under a carantine, in one small room corner together, even though they are of separate genders and not related in any way. Latter alone looked pretty weird.


But I find the second statement unjust, there are alot of women in Metro series who are not sex objects, in fact I barely remember anything behind that infamous brothel scene. The brothel was 1 scene in 1 location, which may take around 20 seconds of player time if you don't stick around purposedly.

From the top of my head, majority of women NPCs I remember from the first 2 games were represented as simply either wifes or mothers. Wifes discussing something with their husbands, wifes asking about their husband's fates, wifes chastising their husbands for some faults (sometimes in traditional comic "angry wife" way). Mothers with their little kids, mother to whom you return her lost kid (as a part of one mission), and so on.

In the third game (Exodus) there are 3 significant female NPCs who play major role in events as warriors: Anna (sniper who became your wife between the games), Giul who fights for the freedom of her people in the desert location, and Olga who is one of the leaders of teenage survivors in the forest camp location.

Overall Metro series always seemed to me to be much more "puritan" compared to say Fallout series, could be because it is based on Soviet/early post-Soviet enviroment. Also it's much more darker it tone. In this sense it would rather include women as a part of traditional family rather than sexual entertainer.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 08 Feb 2021, 19:27
Is it known what percentage of players are female by now?
Obviously in the old days it was negligible - I am sure it isn't negligible now, but possibly it's still a small minority  :(

Erm, is it so? That is a strange impression.

I have a sister who is 1 year younger, and we had ZX Spectrum in late 80-ies, and then home PC in mid-90-ies, and I remember we were literally fighting for playing them :D.
She was playing practically same things as I did, maybe except she were more into adventure games for which I probably did not have enough patience for until I grew older. But she was also playing Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, then GTA, and similar games.

Also, we had a computer class in school and girls were playing all kind of stuff between the lessons. I remember a girl from my class relentlessly trying to play Prince of Persia (old 2D one), even though the death animations caused her to yell and wave hands before the monitor, but she continued playing :D.

EDIT:
To be honest, I do not play alot of multiplayer games today, neither do any investigations on gamer communities, so I don't have much knowledge on who's playing what. But I used to play on one Minecraft server several years ago, and I'd say maybe 1/3 players were female at least, of various ages (I knew an adult woman who played there with her kids for example).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Feb 2021, 19:54
I certainly haven't looked into it, and going by posts in this thread female players may be a majority by now :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 20:14
but from what I've seen of the Metro 2034 scenes, people complained that it came out of nowhere, and there weren't any women in the game who weren't sex objects.

I would agree that that scene in metro comes out of nowhere; and it actually kind of shocked me, not in sexual way, but rather as a very dumb and character and immersion breaking thing. To elaborate, it came right after two characters escape from what was practically a massive war crime location where lots of people died of a virus or were finished of by a "cleaning" team. They then are placed under a carantine, in one small room corner together, even though they are of separate genders and not related in any way. Latter alone looked pretty weird.
Wow, that really just made it worse in context.
Quote
But I find the second statement unjust, there are alot of women in Metro series who are not sex objects, in fact I barely remember anything behind that infamous brothel scene. The brothel was 1 scene in 1 location, which may take around 20 seconds of player time if you don't stick around purposedly.
Well, I only played the first game, and you're right that there were many female npc's who weren't sex objects, however, they were all extras in the first game who stood around in some crowded areas but never had any effect on the story, and from what I've heard, Angry Joe may have excaggerated the comment about "all the women" in his review, but I still got the impression that even if some women in metro 2034 isn't sex objects, they are just insignificant extras instead.

As for the "It's just one scene/just one location" argument in regards to the strip club scene however, I'll counter with saying that it only takes one booger on you plate to ruin your dining experience.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 08 Feb 2021, 20:20
When it comes to number of gamers, I think the main Finnish gaming magazine "Pelit" had an article about that a while back. Off the top of my head I think the statistics were basically: There are more female gamers than male gamers in general.

However, this was only true when one looked at all genres combined, and when it came to specific genres the numbers varied wildly. Women dominated player counts in puzzle games and mobile games and other non-or-less-violent genres, whereas males dominated the numbers in wargames and sports games. Certain shooters, such as Overwatch, have increased female participation in that genre, and there is definitely room for such expansion in most other genres as well. It just takes a game that suits the tastes of those female gamers to come out, since it's quite clear that females tend to like different things in games than male players, thematically speaking. And as we kind of saw before, a lot of publishers are still stuck in the mindset that they need to cater to teenage male gamers, which is why a lot of genres remain stuck with that demographic.

There was no breakdown for each specific genre, but based on that broad generalization I'd imagine stuff like point'n'click adventure games would have a somewhat higher female player percentage than male, as they tend toward the thinky and character/story driven.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 08 Feb 2021, 20:59
As for the "It's just one scene/just one location" argument in regards to the strip club scene however, I'll counter with saying that it only takes one booger on you plate to ruin your dining experience.

This sentence of mine was in regards to the claim that "there weren't any women in the game who weren't sex objects", not to whether this may or not ruin a game. Hence I wanted to give more perspective of the game content.
Something ruining a game is pretty subjective imho, guess it also depends on whether you found the rest of the game enjoyable enough or not (or at least tolerable). In "metro" games I was personally offended by some other things in the past (less today though). In COD1, for another example, I was not offended but outright insulted by one of the scenes, to the point where I was considering writing a letter to developers (although later realized that would be a silly idea); yet I still think it's not a bad game overall.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Feb 2021, 23:17
As for the "It's just one scene/just one location" argument in regards to the strip club scene however, I'll counter with saying that it only takes one booger on you plate to ruin your dining experience.

This sentence of mine was in regards to the claim that "there weren't any women in the game who weren't sex objects", not to whether this may or not ruin a game. Hence I wanted to give more perspective of the game content.
Well, that's a fair point.
Something ruining a game is pretty subjective imho, guess it also depends on whether you found the rest of the game enjoyable enough or not (or at least tolerable). In "metro" games I was personally offended by some other things in the past (less today though). In COD1, for another example, I was not offended but outright insulted by one of the scenes, to the point where I was considering writing a letter to developers (although later realized that would be a silly idea); yet I still think it's not a bad game overall.
Yes and no, some things are bound to make groups of people more uncomfortable than other things.
When it comes to number of gamers, I think the main Finnish gaming magazine "Pelit" had an article about that a while back. Off the top of my head I think the statistics were basically: There are more female gamers than male gamers in general.

However, this was only true when one looked at all genres combined, and when it came to specific genres the numbers varied wildly. Women dominated player counts in puzzle games and mobile games and other non-or-less-violent genres, whereas males dominated the numbers in wargames and sports games. Certain shooters, such as Overwatch, have increased female participation in that genre, and there is definitely room for such expansion in most other genres as well. It just takes a game that suits the tastes of those female gamers to come out, since it's quite clear that females tend to like different things in games than male players, thematically speaking. And as we kind of saw before, a lot of publishers are still stuck in the mindset that they need to cater to teenage male gamers, which is why a lot of genres remain stuck with that demographic.

There was no breakdown for each specific genre, but based on that broad generalization I'd imagine stuff like point'n'click adventure games would have a somewhat higher female player percentage than male, as they tend toward the thinky and character/story driven.
I think it's in a huge part thanks to marketing. For example, CoD and Battlefield used to be pretty agressively marketed towards teenage boys exclusively, to the point many women, myself included, felt alienated from such games, meanwhile, Overwatch has made a point of showcasing diverse characters in all their marketing, with the added implication that they are aiming for an equally diverse playerbase.

With the boxart of Bioshock Infinite (https://www.wired.com/2012/12/bioshock-infinite-box-art/), the marketing explicitly said they wanted the "dude with gun"demographic.
(https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/gamelife/2012/12/Screen-shot-2012-12-08-at-12.24.32-PM-e1354998668568-660x647.png)
Problem is, if I hadn't seen any other reviews and had to go on the box cover alone, I'd never have bought and played a game that just seemed to be
yet another dudebro shooter about some super generic dude going off to kill things in the name of MURICA.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 09 Feb 2021, 08:57
I shall confess that I do not at all mind some physique on display. Many things benefit from a pleasant view. However, my condition is that this should be evenly spread. To take the obvious example, armour should be of equal consequence to both sexes present. If it is of little importance, then let it be so, but do spare me the tin canned gentlemen if the ladies can deflect shot and sword with nought but their magnificent abdominals. The other way around is a most rare beast, but equally unwelcome. One could make a stand in defence for sensible designs, but what is sensible depends on the setting and the tone.
Of course, it helps to ensure that these characters are indeed characters, rather than furniture. Even palace guards, that are the closest thing to live furniture, could have a moment in the sun. Not to mention, clothes and gear that passes for practical can make a character look terribly pretty all the same.
Is in an old chestnut, I admit, but I am fond of it – it has never let me down in conkers yet. A better man than I would reject titillating impracticality outright, no doubt, but Gunga Din is not available at present. All that I require a clear and equal rules on the matter, and a consistency in how this imagined world's sensibility differs from ours.
Not to mention, there is a time and place for everything. What-ever the woman in the provided picture is doing, I imagine it is not the correct place. Unless, I suppose, the world that character inhabit works like that. I cannot say, but it is not exactly what I think of when I think of Prince of Persia. Goodness me, chaps, what is wrong with flowing shawls of silk? It would be perfect!

As for chaps being uncomfortable with revealed male physique, I simply say humbug! It is a both or neither situation, gentlemen, and that is that. Frankly, beginning to enjoy male physique is not going to do wretched things to you. If anything, it will enrich your views. Wrapping them up in plate and pouches even though armour seems to be entirely optional just to serve those sentiments seems exceptionally silly.

Then again, I was always a wretched old sinner.

Now, on what happens in Metro: Last Light. What happens is, the player arrives (after a wild boat ride) at a flooded station called Venice. It is a rather seedy pleasure palace sort of station. You visit a show, featuring trained giant rats and can-can girls, and then follow the chap you want to get a hold of.
I seem to recall that you almost get spotted by the man you are following, and have to duck into a dancing girl's room to hide.
At that occasion, you can pay her a few bullets for a lap-dance, if you wish. It is about as far as it goes, and she mostly just... Ambles around, frankly. It is a stupid thing to do right then, since you are under time pressure in the story to catch up with the villains. Then again, Artiom was always a few generals short of a stavka, perhaps. It is mostly just there, and it is not very good. I am unsure if it came with a karma penalty, but I imagine it did. You could hardly blow your nose in that game without getting a 'bad' ending. It was a nice respite from giant spiders for me, at least, but if the intent was arousal, the scene was a failure. I appreciate that the villains decided to wait so that I could catch up... Time and place. It would have been fun under different circumstances (and indeed a different tone), but the circumstances just made it rather dumb, instead.

They could make a Leisure Suit Lavrov game instead, I suppose. Or perhaps I could. Hmm.

The only sex scene I recall occurs later, when Artiom and Anna (Expert sniper, initially dismissive romantic interest and superb kidnapping victim, recently rescued by our mute hero, because of course) are held in quarantine together (the villain has released a disease on the metro, because of course he would), and since they have developed feelings for each other (because of course they have), they pass the time. It is supposed to be romantic, I suppose, but it is not. Now, video game characters porking is always a difficult thing to model. 3D characters do not have mass, and it is never as clear as when two models need to closely interact. They solve it by going into Artiom's POV, but that method does not really help. Even a few text boxes would have been more evocative. It is quite amusing, particularly since the game takes the scene quite seriously.
I cannot say that I object to the scene (only that it could have been done so much better), but the circumstances around it are so stupid that I cannot help to laugh. I care little for originality, but it is all so terribly stock and uninvolved that it becomes utterly boring. And making such things boring to an established sinner like myself speaks of greater problems. Chief among which is that I care so little for Artiom and less for Anna. I do not know her, what there may be to know. The game did not spend much time to get us acquainted. I suppose Artiom is having a lucky day, but even so, I feel more like a peeping Tom trapped in his head. Artiom is a mute vessel of a man, and it feels more like riding inside the most accident-prone man in Moscow than it does playing as him. Partly because of constant POV-shots where you are not in control. Such as when he is porking.
Metro is one of those games where you need a yo-yo on hand for when it decides you are done controlling it for a bit.

As you can see, I cannot say I recall that game very fondly. The story was particularly idiotic, even beyond my pain threshold. Artiom's visit to the elephant was only part of its problems. It is simply a stupid, basic game, which would not be a problem if it did not insist otherwise and made itself even dumber by being blind to it. Mr Gluchovskij must have had a rather bad day.

There is a time and place for everything, but if you wish to include a sex scene, it is particularly important that it fits in. Since it is such a naked scene (Ha! Ha!), there is very little you can hide it behind if it does not work.

Oh, and another thing! That Bioshock Infinite cover-art is indeed one of the most stupid things I have seen. Of all the evocative things they could have put on the box, marketing chose that. I understand that box-art is of declining importance, but it pays to make it a neat summary of the game or the mood it inhabits. The 'man-in-game-on-box' design philosophy use so very little to tell you so much nothing, and it is a pity.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Feb 2021, 09:37
I think it's in a huge part thanks to marketing. For example, CoD and Battlefield used to be pretty agressively marketed towards teenage boys exclusively, to the point many women, myself included, felt alienated from such games, meanwhile, Overwatch has made a point of showcasing diverse characters in all their marketing, with the added implication that they are aiming for an equally diverse playerbase.

Even with that marketing, the ratio of female players of Overwatch is 16%.

I get to talk to a lot of "regular" people for a living and sometimes I bring up games. Most women I've spoken to play the occasional casual mobile game, but seem almost embarrassed about it because they see it as lazy and childish (and they give me this "maybe you should grow up" look when I say I'm into games :)). Other than that, they would recall a game or two they have tried in the past, but they don't play regularly. I only personally know three women who play bigger games on a regular basis, some games they say they've enjoyed include The Sims, Witcher 3, the Fallout series, Factorio, Last of Us.

The number of men who have told me they play games seems slightly higher (I obviously haven't kept count, just my impression) and when they do, they are more unabashed and passionate about it. They would often mention shooters, strategy games (I remember Starcraft, Civilization and AoE being mentioned), sports games, also Last of Us.

Nobody plays point and clicks :).


As for the previous topic, I also find it a little frustrating how so many game developers turn into drooling teenagers when it comes to depicting sex and "sexy" women. I remember being annoyed that in the Witcher 2, the women had to look like porn actresses, especially since I knew the characters from the books and had pictured them quite differently. To be fair, they had names, personalities and storylines in that game (from what I've seen, haven't actually played through it), it was just the look that I thought was bad.

That said, I don't find it morally reprehensible for the same reasons I don't find excessive (sometimes outright sadistic) violence in games reprehensible. Personally it's not my thing and it's fine to criticize it as a piece of "art", but some posts here feel a tad too judgmental to me. From my experience, most people seem perfectly capable of distinguishing between campy fiction, heightened reality and the real world. I haven't yet looked into that "objectification changes the brain" study, there might be something to that.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 09:56
I suppose Artiom is having a lucky day, but even so, I feel more like a peeping Tom trapped in his head.
This so perfectly summarizes my problem with 90% of games trying to portray sex and undressed women.
When I play video games and a female NPC takes off her clothers and/or get sexual with the hero for little to no reason, or the hero visits a brothel/strip club for some contrived reason,
I don't see anything sexy about it, what I see is, figuratively speaking, a creepy dude working on the game deciding to expose himself and his gross frat-bro view on sex to me.
That said, I don't find it morally reprehensible for the same reasons I don't find excessive (sometimes outright sadistic) violence in games reprehensible. Personally it's not my thing and it's fine to criticize it as a piece of "art", but some posts here feel a tad too judgmental to me. From my experience, most people seem perfectly capable of distinguishing between campy fiction, heightened reality and the real world. I haven't yet looked into that "objectification changes the brain" study, there might be something to that.
It's hard for me to see it as harmless when female critics have received graphic death threats for criticizing the portrayal of women in video games.
Oh, and another thing! That Bioshock Infinite cover-art is indeed one of the most stupid things I have seen. Of all the evocative things they could have put on the box, marketing chose that. I understand that box-art is of declining importance, but it pays to make it a neat summary of the game or the mood it inhabits. The 'man-in-game-on-box' design philosophy use so very little to tell you so much nothing, and it is a pity.
And Bioshock isn't the only game I nearly missed out on thanks to this idiotic tactic, it was the same with Remnant: from the ashes too; it's a game where you travel to other dimensions and explore fantastic and colorful fantasy worlds,
but the cover is the most agressively boring thing I've seen, same generic deafault dude in grey/brown as always, just with some vines thrown onto him instead of the usual zombies.
(https://store-images.s-microsoft.com/image/apps.14175.14118342467613503.205f1a58-c4f9-4e91-a8a7-29e8dbdd704d.40542df8-d5f7-4cf4-a755-19bd1ebdf88a)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Laura Hunt on 09 Feb 2021, 09:59
https://adventuregamers.com/about/advertise

Quote
KeyStatistics

80,000+ monthly unique visitors
73% male / 27% female
94% of visitors aged above 20 (70% between 20 and 35)
A primarily pan-Atlantic readership, with a roughly 50/50 split between North America and Europe
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 10:13
https://adventuregamers.com/about/advertise

Quote
KeyStatistics

80,000+ monthly unique visitors
73% male / 27% female
94% of visitors aged above 20 (70% between 20 and 35)
A primarily pan-Atlantic readership, with a roughly 50/50 split between North America and Europe
Interesting statistics, though it'd be interesting to compare different sites.
At least from these forums, I got the impression that it was more even proportions between male and female visitors.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 09 Feb 2021, 10:18
As TheFrighter said in his first post, on this topic, The Bechdel Test was inspired by a tongue in cheek comic strip cartoon.

The test is not a measure of how good or 'feminist' a film is, but does highlight just how male dominated cinema really is.
It's a simple, albeit imperfect test, but as author Alison Bechdel herself says 'I'ts a bit of fun.'

The Bechdel Test Fest, which had its 30th anniversary in 2015, is not just for women. 'We love men who come to our events, get
involved and make films that portray, a genuine, fair and accurate representation of their opposite sex. We named The Bechdel
Test Fest after the Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip episode The Rule by Alison Bechdel, but not in collaboration with the artist herself.
Alison Bechdel is not personally involved in this organisation in any way.'

The Frighter commented that this test seems sociobabbling (and sometimes is) but someone in Hollywood takes it seriously. He then
asked if these rules for cinema could be useful in video gaming. It seems to be a simple matter of judging right from wrong. Most
people are capable of doing this without adhering to a test. So I have finally answered his question.

On another note it is refreshing to see that Alison Bechdel has a sense of humour.




Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 09 Feb 2021, 11:15
I shall confess that I do not at all mind some physique on display. Many things benefit from a pleasant view. However, my condition is that this should be evenly spread. To take the obvious example, armour should be of equal consequence to both sexes present. If it is of little importance, then let it be so, but do spare me the tin canned gentlemen if the ladies can deflect shot and sword with nought but their magnificent abdominals. The other way around is a most rare beast, but equally unwelcome. One could make a stand in defence for sensible designs, but what is sensible depends on the setting and the tone.
Of course, it helps to ensure that these characters are indeed characters, rather than furniture. Even palace guards, that are the closest thing to live furniture, could have a moment in the sun. Not to mention, clothes and gear that passes for practical can make a character look terribly pretty all the same.
Is in an old chestnut, I admit, but I am fond of it – it has never let me down in conkers yet. A better man than I would reject titillating impracticality outright, no doubt, but Gunga Din is not available at present. All that I require a clear and equal rules on the matter, and a consistency in how this imagined world's sensibility differs from ours.
Not to mention, there is a time and place for everything. What-ever the woman in the provided picture is doing, I imagine it is not the correct place. Unless, I suppose, the world that character inhabit works like that. I cannot say, but it is not exactly what I think of when I think of Prince of Persia. Goodness me, chaps, what is wrong with flowing shawls of silk? It would be perfect!

As for chaps being uncomfortable with revealed male physique, I simply say humbug! It is a both or neither situation, gentlemen, and that is that. Frankly, beginning to enjoy male physique is not going to do wretched things to you. If anything, it will enrich your views. Wrapping them up in plate and pouches even though armour seems to be entirely optional just to serve those sentiments seems exceptionally silly.

Then again, I was always a wretched old sinner.

Now, on what happens in Metro: Last Light. What happens is, the player arrives (after a wild boat ride) at a flooded station called Venice. It is a rather seedy pleasure palace sort of station. You visit a show, featuring trained giant rats and can-can girls, and then follow the chap you want to get a hold of.
I seem to recall that you almost get spotted by the man you are following, and have to duck into a dancing girl's room to hide.
At that occasion, you can pay her a few bullets for a lap-dance, if you wish. It is about as far as it goes, and she mostly just... Ambles around, frankly. It is a stupid thing to do right then, since you are under time pressure in the story to catch up with the villains. Then again, Artiom was always a few generals short of a stavka, perhaps. It is mostly just there, and it is not very good. I am unsure if it came with a karma penalty, but I imagine it did. You could hardly blow your nose in that game without getting a 'bad' ending. It was a nice respite from giant spiders for me, at least, but if the intent was arousal, the scene was a failure. I appreciate that the villains decided to wait so that I could catch up... Time and place. It would have been fun under different circumstances (and indeed a different tone), but the circumstances just made it rather dumb, instead.

They could make a Leisure Suit Lavrov game instead, I suppose. Or perhaps I could. Hmm.

The only sex scene I recall occurs later, when Artiom and Anna (Expert sniper, initially dismissive romantic interest and superb kidnapping victim, recently rescued by our mute hero, because of course) are held in quarantine together (the villain has released a disease on the metro, because of course he would), and since they have developed feelings for each other (because of course they have), they pass the time. It is supposed to be romantic, I suppose, but it is not. Now, video game characters porking is always a difficult thing to model. 3D characters do not have mass, and it is never as clear as when two models need to closely interact. They solve it by going into Artiom's POV, but that method does not really help. Even a few text boxes would have been more evocative. It is quite amusing, particularly since the game takes the scene quite seriously.
I cannot say that I object to the scene (only that it could have been done so much better), but the circumstances around it are so stupid that I cannot help to laugh. I care little for originality, but it is all so terribly stock and uninvolved that it becomes utterly boring. And making such things boring to an established sinner like myself speaks of greater problems. Chief among which is that I care so little for Artiom and less for Anna. I do not know her, what there may be to know. The game did not spend much time to get us acquainted. I suppose Artiom is having a lucky day, but even so, I feel more like a peeping Tom trapped in his head. Artiom is a mute vessel of a man, and it feels more like riding inside the most accident-prone man in Moscow than it does playing as him. Partly because of constant POV-shots where you are not in control. Such as when he is porking.
Metro is one of those games where you need a yo-yo on hand for when it decides you are done controlling it for a bit.

As you can see, I cannot say I recall that game very fondly. The story was particularly idiotic, even beyond my pain threshold. Artiom's visit to the elephant was only part of its problems. It is simply a stupid, basic game, which would not be a problem if it did not insist otherwise and made itself even dumber by being blind to it. Mr Gluchovskij must have had a rather bad day.

There is a time and place for everything, but if you wish to include a sex scene, it is particularly important that it fits in. Since it is such a naked scene (Ha! Ha!), there is very little you can hide it behind if it does not work.

Oh, and another thing! That Bioshock Infinite cover-art is indeed one of the most stupid things I have seen. Of all the evocative things they could have put on the box, marketing chose that. I understand that box-art is of declining importance, but it pays to make it a neat summary of the game or the mood it inhabits. The 'man-in-game-on-box' design philosophy use so very little to tell you so much nothing, and it is a pity.

No one wants to see Lavrov in a sex game.
It would be even worse than Larry  :=
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 11:47
No one wants to see Lavrov in a sex game.
It would be even worse than Larry  :=
I googled him and I can only agree.  :-X
I get to talk to a lot of "regular" people for a living and sometimes I bring up games. Most women I've spoken to play the occasional casual mobile game, but seem almost embarrassed about it because they see it as lazy and childish (and they give me this "maybe you should grow up" look when I say I'm into games :)). Other than that, they would recall a game or two they have tried in the past, but they don't play regularly. I only personally know three women who play bigger games on a regular basis, some games they say they've enjoyed include The Sims, Witcher 3, the Fallout series, Factorio, Last of Us.
I think it's worth pondering whether that is because many women still are expected to do more of the daily household chores, like doing the dishes, cooking, looking after children. It's more socially acceptable for men and boys to shut themself away in their room and spend an hour on their hobby than for a woman to do it, especially if she's a mother, and will be labeled a "bad mom" if she leaves the kids alone for too long.

I had time to play video games when I came home from school when I grew up, but I also have a dad who did a fair share of the housework.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Feb 2021, 12:52
I think it's worth pondering whether that is because many women still are expected to do more of the daily household chores, like doing the dishes, cooking, looking after children. It's more socially acceptable for men and boys to shut themself away in their room and spend an hour on their hobby than for a woman to do it, especially if she's a mother, and will be labeled a "bad mom" if she leaves the kids alone for too long.

I had time to play video games when I came home from school when I grew up, but I also have a dad who did a fair share of the housework.

The same women who frown upon games are usually fine with binging Netflix shows and reading books. It's more about the whole "computers are for boys" thing. Two of the three women I mentioned are technical types.

Btw, even the aforementioned Another World has some female nudity. Although it is alien women (I think there was no alien male nudity).

I was shocked when I realized as an adult those were supposed to be naked women. As a kid, I thought they were aliens in white cloaks. I guess the stained glass windows made me think it was a church, not a spa :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 15:21
I think it's worth pondering whether that is because many women still are expected to do more of the daily household chores, like doing the dishes, cooking, looking after children. It's more socially acceptable for men and boys to shut themself away in their room and spend an hour on their hobby than for a woman to do it, especially if she's a mother, and will be labeled a "bad mom" if she leaves the kids alone for too long.

I had time to play video games when I came home from school when I grew up, but I also have a dad who did a fair share of the housework.

The same women who frown upon games are usually fine with binging Netflix shows and reading books. It's more about the whole "computers are for boys" thing. Two of the three women I mentioned are technical types, one is a data analyst and is somewhat geeky overall, the other one is a math/physics high school teacher (she's in her fifties and really likes The Witcher 3 and Factorio - pretty cool lady :)).
That's a good point, though I think a factor to consider is that books and Netflix shows can be easily paused and put down, wheras many computer games can't be paused and saved at any time without being penalized with lost progress.

Secondly, I think there is a higher entry threshold to gaming, at least AAA games. You not only need a decent computer with good performance, which is usually expensive, but many games aimed at adults will take for granted that you have a lot of previous gaming experience and are already used to most of the standard controls as well as rapid multitasking. Just looking at my dad, despite liking to play Age of Empires 2 when it came, I've noted when I've asked him to try a game with what I thought was pretty basic controls, he struggled immensely remembering where WASD was on the keyboard and having to use both the keyboard and mouse simultaneously to steer the player character, and I imagine it would be even worse for someone with no computer experience at all. From what I've seen, most who got into gaming started as kids, and it's way harder to get into it as an adult, and speaking as someone who used to be a little girl, it's not hard to see why so few girls get into gaming when there are so few quality games marketed at little girls, which feeds into the "computers are for boys" stereotype, and it really doesn't help that up until very recently, the game industry itself was pretty happy to paint this image of what gamers are supposedly like;
(https://bilder.t-online.de/b/64/34/87/72/id_64348772/tid_da/gta-5-artwork.jpg)
I've for real seen people advertize GTA 5 with this image, which makes the Bioshock one look genius in comparision.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 09 Feb 2021, 15:37
^ I actually think the above is very clearly working for young teen male buyers of the game, since the male protagonist isn't exactly good looking (so anyone buying can easily think they at least match him) and has some sexual tension :)
The girl certainly looks far better than him, and is not approving ^_^

It seems to be an in-joke anyway. Most of the male teen buyers would rather be with the girl than play GTA, but here you see the male only caring about GTA - and the poster on the wall isn't even within his line of sight...
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 09 Feb 2021, 16:12
Context on the GTA picture:

They are brother and sister. They hate each other. They are the children in the GTA V character Michael's awful, awful family. He is jolly awful himself. Conceited, selfish, mean, whimpy, etc. He largely has the family he deserves. Their relationships improve later, though, along with the characters.
The boy in the picture is particularly dreary. He mostly sits around playing 'Righteous Slaughter' and shouting abuse at the other players. They are all unhappy in that household. Michael is part of a very generous witness protection program, but the big Winewood house and the luxuries attached does not stop them from driving each other apart. A divided house of odious, unhappy parvenus. It is quite painful to watch, I must say. Michael was my favourite, but damn it all, did I want to reach my hand in through the CD port and throttle the man!

It is a good picture in context. I knew who they were before I saw it, so it made sense on its own, and describes their hideous relationship. But without that context, it is a different matter. As a stand-alone piece of marketing, it is a miscalculation, because what sort of impression are you meant to take from it?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 09 Feb 2021, 16:15
That GTA makes you not fear girls and automatically become alpha? ^_^
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Feb 2021, 16:21
On a side note:
Do people still buy games based on box art? And considering we live in a world of digital purchases: do most people ever even SEE the box art of games they are about to buy?

I've now seen it repeatedly stated in this game that a piece of boxart or a poster for a game made someone not want to buy a game, but that feels like forcing the issue to me. If we still lived in the 80's and early pre-internet 90's where purchase decisions had to be made based on the box art and posters and maybe a short review in a gaming magazine somewhere, this would be a more logical statement to make. Also a fun fact regarding boxart: the always happy Kirby games from Japan had their boxart altered for the American market to make Kirby always seem angry (https://i.imgur.com/X2PYISa.jpg), because westerners like angry things, apparently.

As for the GTA5 image, even without having Reiter's context, I know the series history well enough to easily see it's well in line with what the series is trying to do. It's a game series about bad people doing bad things and being unpleasant to everyone. It's a game series in which you are encouraged to beat up prostitutes, sell drugs from an ice cream van and "Kill X ethnic minorities in Y minutes". I'm pretty sure its advertisements aren't supposed to make people relate to the setting or characters all that closely.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 09 Feb 2021, 16:23
Ha. Possibly. Or more likely a warning. 'This could be YOU. Take a break.'

EDIT:

As for box arts, I do think that they matter. Of course, it is more about the general marketing material, I suppose. That stupid man on the Cyberpunk box would have been less tired if he had not also featured on so many advert splashes and what-not.

No, I still think that box art does matter. It is, or could be, an encapsulation of your game. Even if the prospective player is not so reliant on the box now as we once were, it is just a waste to make it the most dull thing your marketing squad could come up with. Not to mention that the box art is generally the same art that features in advert splashes, and on the icons you click in the digital game shelf these days. If anything, it should be an invitation to think even more on the matter, as it will make so many different appearances. It is not vital, and I do not think that bad box art has ever made me decide against buying a game, but it does matter. If nothing else, it tells you how deep the fingers of the marketing board goes, I suppose.

As for getting used to controls, I have cut my teeth on rather complex games, such as flight simulators with vast arrays of button combinations and what-not. It has done tremendous things to my muscle memory! Of course, I must remind myself at times that I have practiced it for most of my life, while newcomers must start from the beginning. While it can sound absolutely precious when someone complain about a slightly more-than-basic control set-up, I resolve to keep my mouth shut, because everyone has to start somewhere, and it is jolly well harder than it looks. It is a threshold that may be higher than what I can imagine, but it is there. I can understand why anyone would decide to do something else, rather than learn it.
I could probably become very well versed at golf, if I learned all the nuances and practiced it. Of course, that effort vastly outpaces my interest in that sport, so I do not golf. I imagine many people who do not play electric games feel the same.

As for Lavrov mentioned earlier, it is a common Russian name that sounds a lot like Larry. I did not know that there was a current Lavrov of repute. Having seen him now, I can only agree. I want a different Leisure Suit Lavrov.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 17:59
As for the GTA5 image, even without having Reiter's context, I know the series history well enough to easily see it's well in line with what the series is trying to do. It's a game series about bad people doing bad things and being unpleasant to everyone. It's a game series in which you are encouraged to beat up prostitutes, sell drugs from an ice cream van and "Kill X ethnic minorities in Y minutes". I'm pretty sure its advertisements aren't supposed to make people relate to the setting or characters all that closely.
Well, that still presents a pretty nasty and unpleasant picture of gamers, as troglodytes who only want wanton violence, prostitutes, and wanton violence against prostitutes in their entertainment.
As for box arts, I do think that they matter. Of course, it is more about the general marketing material, I suppose. That stupid man on the Cyberpunk box would have been less tired if he had not also featured on so many advert splashes and what-not.

No, I still think that box art does matter. It is, or could be, an encapsulation of your game. Even if the prospective player is not so reliant on the box now as we once were, it is just a waste to make it the most dull thing your marketing squad could come up with. Not to mention that the box art is generally the same art that features in advert splashes, and on the icons you click in the digital game shelf these days. If anything, it should be an invitation to think even more on the matter, as it will make so many different appearances. It is not vital, and I do not think that bad box art has ever made me decide against buying a game, but it does matter. If nothing else, it tells you how deep the fingers of the marketing board goes, I suppose.
Well, while physical video game boxes on the store shelves may not be as common today, digital store thumbnails are, and there are way more games out there than what I can keep track of through reviews alone,
and so the thumbnail on the digital store often will decide whether I think a game seems interesting and I want to click the link to find out more, or brush it off as yet another generic game in a genre I don't like and ignore it.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Feb 2021, 18:06
Well, that still presents a pretty nasty and unpleasant picture of gamers, as troglodytes who only want wanton violence, prostitutes, and wanton violence against prostitutes in their entertainment.

Sure, but even with that image 140 million units sold, at the very least. I'd call that pretty darn solid marketing, even if some subsets of the potential customerbase dislike it.
It's the same as all advertising: whatever ad you make, some people will like it, and others will not. What differentiates a good marketing campaign from a bad one is only the fact that the good one turns a profit while the bad one does not. It matters not how many people were offended, outraged, driven to complain or reduced to tears.

Ahh! The wonders of rampant capitalism!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Feb 2021, 18:10
Going back to sex/nudity in games, there's a dilemma I've been having with my own game, so maybe this is the right thread to bite the bullet and ask what people think. Relatively minor (but not negligible) spoilers for Truth be Trolled (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58102.0) follow, if you want to play that when it comes out 10 years from now, read at your own risk :).

Spoiler: ShowHide

So I've got this scene (https://i.ibb.co/gMW5KBv/truthbetrolled-spa.png) in the game. The lady in the tub is a tabloid journalist who likes interviewing people naked in her spa, supposedly because transparency, honesty, no secrets, yada yada. Of course she actually does it do embarrass and dominate them (she's interviewing a naked guy when you first visit the area). There's a visual gag here where thanks to the magic of parallaxing, objects scrolling at different speeds always conveniently align to cover strategic areas, Austin Powers style, so nothing explicit is seen.

So far so good I hope, some mildly naughty fun. Now the dilemma:

At one point, the princess (https://i.ibb.co/ZfG1rkb/truthbetrolled-princess.png) visits the journalist in the spa to confront her about something. I'm considering three options:

1. The princess follows the prescribed "dress code", goes in naked, and she's not happy about it. Again, there are strategically placed objects in the foreground, so nothing explicit. This works for the power dynamic I want between the princess and the journalist and it supports a minor twist in the scene, but I'm worried some people might find it sleazy (as me just looking for excuses to get the girl naked).

2. The princess defies the journalist and marches in dressed. This changes the dynamic of the scene and undermines another idea I've had, but is at least interesting and works thematically in some ways. I also don't have to make a new walkcycle for the princess :).

3. A compromise: the princess wears a towel. Kind of "meh" if you ask me, but it is an option.

Would anyone here take issue with any of this?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 18:41
Going back to sex/nudity in games, there's a dilemma I've been having with my own game, so maybe this is the right thread to bite the bullet and ask what people think. Relatively minor (but not negligible) spoilers for Truth be Trolled (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58102.0) follow, if you want to play that when it comes out 10 years from now, read at your own risk :).

Spoiler: ShowHide

So I've got this scene (https://i.ibb.co/gMW5KBv/truthbetrolled-spa.png) in the game. The lady in the tub is a tabloid journalist who likes interviewing people naked in her spa, supposedly because transparency, honesty, no secrets, yada yada. Of course she actually does it do embarrass and dominate them (she's interviewing a naked guy when you first visit the area). There's a visual gag here where thanks to the magic of parallaxing, objects scrolling at different speeds always conveniently align to cover strategic areas, Austin Powers style, so nothing explicit is seen.

So far so good I hope, some mildly naughty fun. Now the dilemma:

At one point, the princess (https://i.ibb.co/ZfG1rkb/truthbetrolled-princess.png) visits the journalist in the spa to confront her about something. I'm considering three options:

1. The princess follows the prescribed "dress code", goes in naked, and she's not happy about it. Again, there are strategically placed objects in the foreground, so nothing explicit. This works for the power dynamic I want between the princess and the journalist and it supports a minor twist in the scene, but I'm worried some people might find it sleazy (as me just looking for excuses to get the girl naked).

2. The princess defies the journalist and marches in dressed. This changes the dynamic of the scene and undermines another idea I've had, but is at least interesting and works thematically in some ways. I also don't have to make a new walkcycle for the princess :).

3. A compromise: the princess wears a towel. Kind of "meh" if you ask me, but it is an option.

Would anyone here take issue with any of this?

From the screenshot, and the context you've given,
Spoiler: ShowHide
even if there is scenery hiding their private parts, it still sounds like it could be interpreted as sleazy by some players if you have the princess having to follow the "dress code" despite being unhappy about it. I don't want to make any definite statements not knowing how the entire scene plays out, but I recommend you read and ponder this page (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReluctantFanserviceGirl) on TVtropes for examples of what to avoid if you go that route.

However, if you want my personal suggestion, why not have her march in fully dressed, but still have the Austin Powers style scenery blockers covering her sensitive areas?
It'd be a fun and novel way to make the scene memorable as well as save you from drawing the extra walk cycle.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Feb 2021, 18:47
Ok, thanks for the input. Maybe it would be better if you put your response in a spoiler tab though? Not that I think people care that much, but just in case :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 18:53
Ok, thanks for the input. Maybe it would be better if you put your response in a spoiler tab though? Not that I think people care that much, but just in case :).
Glad to be of help, and I've already edited my comment.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 09 Feb 2021, 19:06
How about The Death of Marat? :)

Spoiler: ShowHide
(https://lh5.ggpht.com/-d5RlDp2ZxTrQx-THUFQxjBFvGWF5PD6Ro4Sg1C4CVqostkhrM2J0ZrVeBjf=s1200)


Although it has to be said that this painting by Munch (which iirc is titled thus) is very clearly just inspired by the actual death of Marat.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 09 Feb 2021, 19:53
I think it's worth pondering whether that is because many women still are expected to do more of the daily household chores, like doing the dishes, cooking, looking after children. It's more socially acceptable for men and boys to shut themself away in their room and spend an hour on their hobby than for a woman to do it

The same women who frown upon games are usually fine with binging Netflix shows and reading books. It's more about the whole "computers are for boys" thing.
That's a good point, though I think a factor to consider is that books and Netflix shows can be easily paused and put down, wheras many computer games can't be paused and saved at any time without being penalized with lost progress.

Hmm, I don't know, alot of games have a pause. This sounds more like a practical issue with particular items, online games primarily. I mean, even if the daily chores is a main factor, this is rather a question of finding suitable kind of games, is it not?
What about TV that you cannot pause? Or we are talking about most recent times only when people watch everything on the Internet? That sounds funny and weird at the same time, but I remember my grandmother scheduled everything so to be able to watch her TV shows, to the point when I had to attend dinner strictly in the given time not to make her late :).

What I personally witnessed and experienced during my childhood is that older people were rather against spending time on video games at all, because they were considered timewasting. I knew adult men who were telling me and other boys to "grow up" and do something useful instead or we'll never become "real men", after hearing we are playing video games. My grandmother was nagging me all the time about computer (and I had to bite my tongue and not respond her watching soap operas and those crappy daytime shows on TV all day long :p).

On another hand, for instance, my sister whom I mentioned above, had: piano lessons, violin lessons, swimming courses, some martial arts courses (I dont remember which one, taekwondo probably), she had roller skates and my mother tried to get her to spend as much time outside of the house as possible. For more context, my mother was born in late 50-ies in the real village (with cattle and such) and came from as "traditional" family as it may get in our country.

Spoiler: ShowHide

PS. In retrospect I actually wonder why they did not make me to do the same. Maybe my parents gave up on me because I was a lazy sloth with little motivation...
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Feb 2021, 21:15
How about The Death of Marat? :)
[img ]https://lh5.ggpht.com/-d5RlDp2ZxTrQx-THUFQxjBFvGWF5PD6Ro4Sg1C4CVqostkhrM2J0ZrVeBjf=s1200[/img]
Although it has to be said that this painting by Munch (which iirc is titled thus) is very clearly just inspired by the actual death of Marat.
I say it is a shitty thing to just post random nude paintings with smiley emojis next to them into a discussion on media sexism. I don't want to attribute your particular comment to intentional maliciousness,
but I will say there is no shortage of men online who will deliberately post explicit nude pictures in forums to harass and provoke women who dare to criticize sexist images,
and I find it hard to imagine how you could fail to see how blatantly inappropriate this is in the context of this discussion.

As for the painting itself, I think it's unambiguosly sexist of dudes to take a historical woman who never was naked in public during her life and go "but I wanna see her naked anyway".

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 00:51
Glad to be of help, and I've already edited my comment.

Thanks! On second thought, maybe some more context (medium-to-big spoilers this time):
Spoiler: ShowHide

Here's what makes the naked/dressed options (not) work in my opinion:

Without revealing too much, the scene is about the princess angrily confronting the journalist and the journalist completely turning the tables on her and verbally defeating her. The "twist" I mentioned is that at the moment of her triumph, the journalist stands up in the bathtub and it turns out that after all the bullshit about transparency, she's been wearing a strapless swimsuit the whole time, making her the only dressed person in the room. It's not the subtlest of metaphors, but I think I can make it less on-the-nose in execution than it might sound in writing :). It obviously doesn't work with the princess dressed though, the journalist would still be underdressed compared to her.

What works in favor of the dressed version is that the princess' character arc is her being dishonest (one of those people who go out of their way not to tell a direct lie, but their skirting around the truth ends up being worse than lying) and eventually learning what real honesty is. So her wanting to stay "covered" works for the character and the journalist could use it against her, managing to embarrass her for not wanting to get naked. It could be a cool villain moment if I manage to get the dialogue right, it would showcase the journalist being clever, manipulative and good at bullying people, managing to turn a disadvantage in her favor through sheer shamelessness. This is probably too abstract without the actual dialogue, but it works in my head :). I'd have to sacrifice the swimsuit twist though.


(sorry for making this about me and my game btw, I think it's somewhat relevant to the topic, but feel free to ignore me :))
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 05:21
How about The Death of Marat? :)
[img ]https://lh5.ggpht.com/-d5RlDp2ZxTrQx-THUFQxjBFvGWF5PD6Ro4Sg1C4CVqostkhrM2J0ZrVeBjf=s1200[/img]
Although it has to be said that this painting by Munch (which iirc is titled thus) is very clearly just inspired by the actual death of Marat.
I say it is a shitty thing to just post random nude paintings with smiley emojis next to them into a discussion on media sexism. I don't want to attribute your particular comment to intentional maliciousness,
but I will say there is no shortage of men online who will deliberately post explicit nude pictures in forums to harass and provoke women who dare to criticize sexist images,
and I find it hard to imagine how you could fail to see how blatantly inappropriate this is in the context of this discussion.

As for the painting itself, I think it's unambiguosly sexist of dudes to take a historical woman who never was naked in public during her life and go "but I wanna see her naked anyway".



Hm, I think you should try to be civil. The painting I posted is famous and elegant, not some material of pornography. Maybe you are the one who is filled with such views, and can't help attributing them to others? :/

(for the record, Marat didn't exactly look like the man in the painting either, and died in very different circumstances; pretty sure Munch used the known murder case as a symbol; of tension between lovers)

edit: to make this post a little more palatable: I don't have anything against you, I just think you are being a bit too harsh and projecting negative reasons when there is no need for it :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 06:50
(for the record, Marat didn't exactly look like the man in the painting either, and died in very different circumstances; pretty sure Munch used the known murder case as a symbol; of tension between lovers)

From what I gather, the painting is inspired by Munch's ex-fiancé and his break-up trauma... so I guess it's technically revenge porn? Edvard Munch: expressionist, one of the world's greatest artists, creepy dudebro :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 10 Feb 2021, 07:12
It is an odd picture. I have the distinct impression that the attributation to Marat was added later, to lend it some historical feathers. Hardly needed to, it is a decent picture on its own. Good old Eddie should have considered another title.

While I would disagree that such pictures are sexist ipso facto, I can see why it is poor form to bring them up in discussions such as this, if it is something that disreputable sorts do to short-circuit a discussion. It is best not to do so.

As for the GTA V picture; the game was a phenomenal success. It presumably made Take2 & Company enough money to rival most countries. Still, I do not think that picture really did have anything to do with it, for or against. I still find it silly, as it depends so on the context, but its role in the conquest of GTA was no doubt microscopic.
Goodness, they were in the enviable position of being able to simply say that the game was coming and they would still have sold copies in the millions. I bought it mostly because it looked jolly fun on video.

EDIT: We-hell, that could explain it, I suppose. If it is inspired, I would say it is one thing. If it is her likeness, however, then that is rather poor form on Eddie's part.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 07:19
I didn't know Munch had a fiancee :) Tbh I wouldn't have been surprised if he was celibate.
Although there is at least one other version of Munch's "the Death of Marat", where the girl looks very different.



Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 07:27
EDIT: We-hell, that could explain it, I suppose. If it is inspired, I would say it is one thing. If it is her likeness, however, then that is rather poor form on Eddie's part.

The face is her likeness apparently. To the extent a vague, unrealistic painting like this can be. I was joking, I sincerely hope nobody would seriously consider calling a piece of expressionist art "revenge porn".

I didn't know Munch had a fiancee :) Tbh I wouldn't have been surprised if he was celibate.
Although there is at least one other version of Munch's "the Death of Marat", where the girl looks very different.

See here (https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/the-death-of-marat-ii/AgHihh4p4aGqNw?hl=en) :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 07:30
EDIT: We-hell, that could explain it, I suppose. If it is inspired, I would say it is one thing. If it is her likeness, however, then that is rather poor form on Eddie's part.

The face is her likeness apparently. To the extent a vague, unrealistic painting like this can be. I was joking, I sincerely hope nobody would seriously consider calling a piece of expressionist art "revenge porn".

I didn't know Munch had a fiancee :) Tbh I wouldn't have been surprised if he was celibate.
Although there is at least one other version of Munch's "the Death of Marat", where the girl looks very different.

See here (https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/the-death-of-marat-ii/AgHihh4p4aGqNw?hl=en) :).

Thanks! :D

This is a much more famous painting, apparently again with that woman:

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d5/05/a6/d505a6fd3c4b363b21cc007199e261e4.jpg)

Going by photographs, Tulla didn't look much like Munch's depictions...

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/80/67/44/806744007f12548e416eb1db38e6a764.jpg)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 10 Feb 2021, 07:36
I still think it is jolly poor form, I must say. Falling out takes a certain grace. Like a cat.

Of course, the term 'revenge porn' may not be entirely applicable, no. Irrespective of the fact that it was not yet invented, I shall add.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 07:51
I still think it is jolly poor form, I must say. Falling out takes a certain grace. Like a cat.

It's an expression of strong emotion. Those tend to be "poor form". It's what artsy people do.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 10 Feb 2021, 08:45
Going back to sex/nudity in games, there's a dilemma I've been having with my own game, so maybe this is the right thread to bite the bullet and ask what people think. Relatively minor (but not negligible) spoilers for Truth be Trolled (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58102.0) follow, if you want to play that when it comes out 10 years from now, read at your own risk :).

Spoiler: ShowHide

So I've got this scene (https://i.ibb.co/gMW5KBv/truthbetrolled-spa.png) in the game. The lady in the tub is a tabloid journalist who likes interviewing people naked in her spa, supposedly because transparency, honesty, no secrets, yada yada. Of course she actually does it do embarrass and dominate them (she's interviewing a naked guy when you first visit the area). There's a visual gag here where thanks to the magic of parallaxing, objects scrolling at different speeds always conveniently align to cover strategic areas, Austin Powers style, so nothing explicit is seen.

So far so good I hope, some mildly naughty fun. Now the dilemma:

At one point, the princess (https://i.ibb.co/ZfG1rkb/truthbetrolled-princess.png) visits the journalist in the spa to confront her about something. I'm considering three options:

1. The princess follows the prescribed "dress code", goes in naked, and she's not happy about it. Again, there are strategically placed objects in the foreground, so nothing explicit. This works for the power dynamic I want between the princess and the journalist and it supports a minor twist in the scene, but I'm worried some people might find it sleazy (as me just looking for excuses to get the girl naked).

2. The princess defies the journalist and marches in dressed. This changes the dynamic of the scene and undermines another idea I've had, but is at least interesting and works thematically in some ways. I also don't have to make a new walkcycle for the princess :).

3. A compromise: the princess wears a towel. Kind of "meh" if you ask me, but it is an option.

Would anyone here take issue with any of this?


I feel sorry for the troll used as a table...  :-\

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 08:58
I feel sorry for the troll used as a table...  :-\

Good! :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 09:19
Hm, I think you should try to be civil. The painting I posted is famous and elegant, not some material of pornography. Maybe you are the one who is filled with such views, and can't help attributing them to others? :/
Let me get this straight, you're asking for ME to be civil, yet you simultaneously go "Maybe you're the pervert for calling out my inappropriate post"?

I never said the painting was pornographic, what I am trying to say it that it's really inappropriate for this discussion.
If you'd have posted it in a thread on art history, that had been one thing, but this is a thread where people have specifically complained about gratuitous inclusions of naked women in media,
and your answer is to post a giant picture of a naked woman in it? What answer did you expect?
I still think it is jolly poor form, I must say. Falling out takes a certain grace. Like a cat.

It's an expression of strong emotion. Those tend to be "poor form". It's what artsy people do.
I still think there's a difference between say, Fransisco Goya painting terrifying paintings to deal with the horrors of the wars and Spanish inquisition he'd witnessed in his homeland, and Munch painting his fiance as a murderer because he couldn't handle a bad breakup.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 09:29
Glad to be of help, and I've already edited my comment.

Thanks! On second thought, maybe some more context (medium-to-big spoilers this time):
Spoiler: ShowHide

Here's what makes the naked/dressed options (not) work in my opinion:

Without revealing too much, the scene is about the princess angrily confronting the journalist and the journalist completely turning the tables on her and verbally defeating her. The "twist" I mentioned is that at the moment of her triumph, the journalist stands up in the bathtub and it turns out that after all the bullshit about transparency, she's been wearing a strapless swimsuit the whole time, making her the only dressed person in the room. It's not the subtlest of metaphors, but I think I can make it less on-the-nose in execution than it might sound in writing :). It obviously doesn't work with the princess dressed though, the journalist would still be underdressed compared to her.

What works in favor of the dressed version is that the princess' character arch is her being dishonest (one of those people who go out of their way not to tell a direct lie, but their skirting around the truth ends up being worse than lying) and eventually learning what real honesty is. So her wanting to stay "covered" works for the character and the journalist could use it against her, managing to embarrass her for not wanting to get naked. It could be a cool villain moment if I manage to get the dialogue right, it would showcase the journalist being clever, manipulative and good at bullying people, managing to turn a disadvantage in her favor through sheer shamelessness. This is probably too abstract without the actual dialogue, but it works in my head :). I'd have to sacrifice the swimsuit twist though.


(sorry for making this about me and my game btw, I think it's somewhat relevant to the topic, but feel free to ignore me :))
Well, seeing that context, I personally think
Spoiler: ShowHide
the version where the princess stays dressed sounds more thematically interesting. As for the swimsuit twist, you're right that the dynamics change with the princess dressed, though you could probably still make a comment on how the princess is honest about covering up, while the journalist pretends to be bare and transparent but hides it. Like, after successfully making the princess feel embarrassed for wanting to stay covered, she rises up to show she too is covered while just berating the princess for it.
As for the bubble bath in the screenshot, did you watch this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHVN21gYm30) Robin Hood: Men in tights scene for inspiration?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 10 Feb 2021, 09:35
I never said the painting was pornographic, what I am trying to say it that it's really inappropriate for this discussion.
Agreed.
Quote
I still think there's a difference between say, Fransisco Goya painting terrifying paintings to deal with the horrors of the wars and Spanish inquisition he'd witnessed in his homeland, and Munch painting his fiance as a murderer because he couldn't handle a bad breakup.
Off-Topic: ShowHide
This kind of behaviour is often seen in modern popular music, where the exes of musicians generally is written about in a less than flattering manner. That said, if we go back in history, personal attacks seem almost the order of the day. There is little or no division between person and the topic.

I think these paintings would fit in a thread about whether or not this kind of revenge against people who have wronged the artist is also applicable to games.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 09:41
Hm, I think you should try to be civil. The painting I posted is famous and elegant, not some material of pornography. Maybe you are the one who is filled with such views, and can't help attributing them to others? :/
Let me get this straight, you're asking for ME to be civil, yet you simultaneously go "Maybe you're the pervert for calling out my inappropriate post"?

I never said the painting was pornographic, what I am trying to say it that it's really inappropriate for this discussion.
If you'd have posted it in a thread on art history, that had been one thing, but this is a thread where people have specifically complained about gratuitous inclusions of naked women in media,
and your answer is to post a giant picture of a naked woman in it? What answer did you expect?


You probably didn't notice, but the man in that painting is also naked.
He is, moreover, dead.
Hardly a case of treating women differently in media :P

I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 10 Feb 2021, 09:51
You probably didn't notice, but the man in that painting is also naked.
He is, moreover, dead.
Hardly a case of treating women differently in media :P

I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..

I think my whole answer is off-topic.
Off-Topic: ShowHide
The naked dead guy is Munch. By naming the painting thus, he gives his ex the role of traitor and (psychological) murderess. He literally paints himself as the victim and the woman as the villain. Now, we don't know the specifics about the gun shooting incident that lead to their breakup, but I'm inclined to call this a personal attack more than an attack on all women.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 09:56
You probably didn't notice, but the man in that painting is also naked.
He is, moreover, dead.
Hardly a case of treating women differently in media :P

I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..

I think my whole answer is off-topic.
Off-Topic: ShowHide
The naked dead guy is Munch. By naming the painting thus, he gives his ex the role of traitor and (psychological) murderess. He literally paints himself as the victim and the woman as the villain. Now, we don't know the specifics about the gun shooting incident that lead to their breakup, but I'm inclined to call this a personal attack more than an attack on all women.


The actual Marat wasn't killed by a "traitor", but a member of an opposing group in the chaos of the french post-revolution. She also claimed that she killed Marat to save thousands who would have been executed if he had this way :)
Now, obviously the painting isn't very tied to Marat (other than with the title), yet they are both naked, so this isn't a case of sexualizing any particular gender. Of course Munch could have painted something less emotional - in fact he could have done this with every other work of his, the price would just be that we wouldn't know of him today.
In this way, this is very much on-topic. Art isn't tv celebrity politics, and important artists have their subject matter, always from personal issues.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 11:47
Hm, I think you should try to be civil. The painting I posted is famous and elegant, not some material of pornography. Maybe you are the one who is filled with such views, and can't help attributing them to others? :/
Let me get this straight, you're asking for ME to be civil, yet you simultaneously go "Maybe you're the pervert for calling out my inappropriate post"?

I never said the painting was pornographic, what I am trying to say it that it's really inappropriate for this discussion.
If you'd have posted it in a thread on art history, that had been one thing, but this is a thread where people have specifically complained about gratuitous inclusions of naked women in media,
and your answer is to post a giant picture of a naked woman in it? What answer did you expect?


You probably didn't notice, but the man in that painting is also naked.
He is, moreover, dead.
Hardly a case of treating women differently in media :P

I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..
Well, not only is the man's sensitive area mostly covered up by the naked woman (her sensitive areas painted rather detailed in comparison), but the painting casts the man as a sympathetic victim and the woman as a murderer,
and in the context of the scene, painting them both as naked and the man lying on a bed also draws upon sexist stereotypes of women as evil seductresses using their sexuality to entrap men in order to harm them.
Just because they're both naked doesn't mean that the nudity is automatically equal.

Furthermore, don't you realize how sexist it is to equate me criticizing your post of a man's painting with Saudi fundamentalists?
I'm not imposing a ban on all nudity, or banning people from watching the original painting,
I'm critiquing the fact that you posted a nude painting a male artist did to get back at his ex when people were discussing how gratuitous depictions of female nudity was problematic.
Don't you realize just how many misogynists have used that exact same comparison whenever a woman has complained of objectifying images of women?
If you want a decent discussion, I ask you to lay off with the childish and insulting comparisons and accusations.
Of course Munch could have painted something less emotional - in fact he could have done this with every other work of his, the price would just be that we wouldn't know of him today.
In this way, this is very much on-topic. Art isn't tv celebrity politics, and important artists have their subject matter, always from personal issues.
I only see it as on-topic in the sense that it looks like it could become an example of Lewis's Law (https://www.dictionary.com/e/pop-culture/lewiss-law/) if you're going to keep using strawman arguments.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 12:25
I wasn't aware of the girl in the painting being tied to Munch's fiancee. I suppose this ties to myself not caring about Munch's love life, but caring about nice paintings :)
Also I don't think you have a point regarding the stance of the models. I am sure one could project weakness to the person lying down on the bed, and power to the one standing up and looking at the audience in a defiant manner. Furthermore, usually if you are dead you are the weak party by default ^_^
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Feb 2021, 12:37
I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..

This kind of conservatism can be universal, of course. Pope Pius IX actually had statues' genitals removed. But I think you're missing the point Blondbraid has been making. No one is taking offense at nudity per se - I like Munch and I like that painting. But the thread is about sexist representation of women. No one is saying all depictions of women are sexist, so just posting 'good art' of a naked woman doesn't say anything particularly meaningful. I can see why Blondbraid would read it as a cheap joke at her expense, though it sounds like that wasn't your intention.

That said, it's impossible to argue that the man and woman in Munch's painting are represented in the same way just because they're both naked - the woman is standing upright and facing the camera, blocking our view of his genitals. This follows the same pattern as the argument that male and female superheroes are both 'idealised'.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 12:44
I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..

This kind of conservatism can be universal, of course. Pope Pius IX actually had statues' genitals removed. But I think you're missing the point Blondbraid has been making. No one is taking offense at nudity per se - I like Munch and I like that painting. But the thread is about sexist representation of women. No one is saying all depictions of women are sexist, so just posting 'good art' of a naked woman doesn't say anything particularly meaningful. I can see why Blondbraid would read it as a cheap joke at her expense, though it sounds like that wasn't your intention.

That said, it's impossible to argue that the man and woman in Munch's painting are represented in the same way just because they're both naked - the woman is standing upright and facing the camera, blocking our view of his genitals. This follows the same pattern as the argument that male and female superheroes are both 'idealised'.

Munch has paintings with male genitals visible, if anyone cares... And I am pretty sure the female in that painting has the dominant position, that much is rather clear-cut. I am sure some here would be even more up in arms (although in my view equally with no reason to be) if the female was passive/killed, and the male was displaying his nude body in defiance  :=

It's quite easy to see why this is focused upon as serious art; if you tried to take a photograph of such a scene, chances are very few people would talk about it and it wouldn't be regarded as high art. Politics is for such small things, in my view, along with the bulk of political interpretations.
And, for the record, of course I wasn't "making at joke" at Blondbraid's expense; I was posting a nice painting.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 12:48
I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..

This kind of conservatism can be universal, of course. Pope Pius IX actually had statues' genitals removed. But I think you're missing the point Blondbraid has been making. No one is taking offense at nudity per se - I like Munch and I like that painting. But the thread is about sexist representation of women. No one is saying all depictions of women are sexist, so just posting 'good art' of a naked woman doesn't say anything particularly meaningful. I can see why Blondbraid would read it as a cheap joke at her expense, though it sounds like that wasn't your intention.

That said, it's impossible to argue that the man and woman in Munch's painting are represented in the same way just because they're both naked - the woman is standing upright and facing the camera, blocking our view of his genitals. This follows the same pattern as the argument that male and female superheroes are both 'idealised'.
Well put!
I wasn't aware of the girl in the painting being tied to Munch's fiancee. I suppose this ties to myself not caring about Munch's love life, but caring about nice paintings :)
Also I don't think you have a point regarding the stance of the models. I am sure one could project weakness to the person lying down on the bed, and power to the one standing up and looking at the audience in a defiant manner. Furthermore, usually if you are dead you are the weak party by default ^_^
And what about my point about the man being drawn without much detail and having his private parts obscured by the naked woman, while the woman's naked body being in full view and the most detailed thing in the painting?
And again, I found it inappropriate to post this in this discussion, and if you truly cared about discussing that painting and weren't trying to troll, you would have read up more on the context beforehand and shared your thoughts on how it
presented the characters in it in your first post with it rather than jump straight to post a huge nude painting and say "how about this? *smiley face*".

You also haven't acknowledged any of my complaints about the fact that you used several rude strawman arguments against me and my words, and paired with the smileys, it feels like you're just going to try to joke away any criticism.
I tried saying in my first reply to your post that I didn't want to attribute it to any intentional sexism, but every reply you give makes it harder to do so.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 12:52
Sorry, Blondbraid, but in my view you are the one who jumped at me, when the painting I posted had nothing to do with you and wasn't against you. Of course you are free to react to it as you wish, but you shouldn't be quick to attack others.
Furthermore, I am not sure if you are seriously asking me to defend Munch to you. Don't you think this is a little bit surreal? (instead of the apt, which would be expressionistic)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 13:13
And, for the record, of course I wasn't "making at joke" at Blondbraid's expense; I was posting a nice painting.
Sorry, Blondbraid, but in my view you are the one who jumped at me, when the painting I posted had nothing to do with you and wasn't against you. Of course you are free to react to it as you wish, but you shouldn't be quick to attack others.
Furthermore, I am not sure if you are seriously asking me to defend Munch to you. Don't you think this is a little bit surreal? (instead of the apt, which would be expressionistic)
If that was the case, why didn't you explain that from the start?

I thought I gave a pretty thorough explanation of why I thought that the picture was inappropriate in this context, and it's not about the picture in and on itself, but the fact that you chose to include it in this discussion knowing the subject matter.
If it was just about wanting to post a nice picture, why here in this discussion and not make your own forum thread for posting classic paintings?

Also, do you think it's fair to say that I'm attacking you when you have more or less accused me of being obsessed with porn;
Hm, I think you should try to be civil. The painting I posted is famous and elegant, not some material of pornography. Maybe you are the one who is filled with such views, and can't help attributing them to others? :/
And compared me to an Islamist fundamentalist ruler;
I am reminded of those cool and feminist arabian princes, who always cover up ancient statues so that the genitals aren't visible. A serious ability to appreciate high art..
I have tried to give you the benefit of a doubt, but you've kept putting words in my mouth.

And why do you only try to back down after you saw another forum member agreeing with my points?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Feb 2021, 13:26
Yeah, I think the issue is not that there's anything wrong with that painting in its own terms - you don't need to defend Munch. Even if you'd found the perfect example of a naked woman portrayed without the tiniest hint of sexism - it still wouldn't have made sense to present it as a 'gotcha' or counterpoint, if that's how you intended it. It's like saying, 'but these great films don't pass the Bechdel test!' No one thinks that passing the test is the mark of a good film, or that all portrayals of women are sexist.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 13:39
Yeah, I think the issue is not that there's anything wrong with that painting in its own terms - you don't need to defend Munch. Even if you'd found the perfect example of a naked woman portrayed without the tiniest hint of sexism - it still wouldn't have made sense to present it as a 'gotcha' or counterpoint, if that's how you intended it.
Exactly.
I've studied art history at University, something I wouldn't if I couldn't stomach any form of female nudity. On the contrary, one of my favourite paintings is Liberty leading the people (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg/1280px-Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg) by Delacroix,
and I think it's one of the rare examples of a male artist pulling off heroic nudity in a female character without it coming across as crass or vulgar.

But even so, even if you had selected another painting of a nude woman which I did like, it still comes off as either trying to be provocative or come with a cheap "gotcha" moment, as if a few examples of female nudity accepted as high art by the masses
would magically offset all the droves of objectifying and sexist images of underdressed women that were complained about here.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 14:07
Quote from: Blondbraid
If that was the case, why didn't you explain that from the start?


In doesn't work that way; you don't "explain" when you are jumped at; it's not like I magically owe other posters here better treatment than they give :P

That said, time to move on  ;)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 14:50
Quote from: Blondbraid
If that was the case, why didn't you explain that from the start?


In doesn't work that way; you don't "explain" when you are jumped at; it's not like I magically owe other posters here better treatment than they give :P

That said, time to move on  ;)
You keep using words like "attack" and "jumped at" as if I was physically lunging at you and you only had a split-second to defend yourself from injury,
but in reality, the text is still there for everyone to go back to look at, I wrote a comment criticizing what I saw as an inappropriate comment  that came across as a bad joke,
no one forced you to reply, and more importantly, it's not like there is an immense and pressing time limit to reply and think through your answer before posting,
but instead, you've basically done little more than hopping between insulting me by painting me as a strawman prude and complain that I'm not nice enough
when I tell you why your replies come across as insulting and patronizing, and it only feels like you're saying you want to move on because you've seen someone else
agreeing with my points and you are afraid other people will call you out on your behavior.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 14:59
I just don't know what you expect. I repeatedly stated I had no intention to post something against you; the thread has more people than just you anyway. I also noted that I don't have anything against you :)
Maybe I felt frightened and had to bring the claws out - in such a case, please respect my safe space  :-D (and, in reality, I was just surprised you'd be in attack mode without any reason, but obviously everyone has their own views, including me and you - let's be/stay friends in the forum, and if not, let's move on  ;-D )
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 15:09
Spoiler: ShowHide
Well, seeing that context, I personally think [spoiler]the version where the princess stays dressed sounds more thematically interesting. As for the swimsuit twist, you're right that the dynamics change with the princess dressed, though you could probably still make a comment on how the princess is honest about covering up, while the journalist pretends to be bare and transparent but hides it. Like, after successfully making the princess feel embarrassed for wanting to stay covered, she rises up to show she too is covered while just berating the princess for it.

Thanks, also starting to lean towards that option. It's "safer", makes sense and can work just as well.

As for the bubble bath in the screenshot, did you watch this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHVN21gYm30) Robin Hood: Men in tights scene for inspiration?

I didn't! I've never seen that. And I felt so clever for coming up with that :).

You keep using words like "attack" and "jumped at" as if I was physically lunging at you and you only had a split-second to defend yourself from injury,
but in reality, the text is still there for everyone to go back to look at

I'm sorry, but I have to say I also read your first reaction to Kyriakos as aggressive and condescending.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 15:12
Quote from: Honza

I'm sorry, but I have to say I also read your first reaction to Kyriakos as aggressive and condescending.

I am reposting this because Honza can be used as an attack target instead of myself from now on :D

(joking, and I think the matter is resolved, anyway I meant no harm and already am over this and hope this is the same from BB too :) )

Btw, Honza, your game looks seriously cool  8-)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 15:41
I'm sorry, but I have to say I also read your first reaction to Kyriakos as aggressive and condescending.
If I came across as angry, it was because I've already seen a ton of nudes posted in feminist discussions as "jokes" by sexist dudes in other forums.
I've tried my best to explain my initial reaction, and maybe I was too brash in the way I said it, but I still think KyriakosCH's answers were far ruder.
I just don't know what you expect. I repeatedly stated I had no intention to post something against you; the thread has more people than just you anyway. I also noted that I don't have anything against you :)
I didn't think the first image of the painting was meant for me specifically, but I did see it as a bad joke trying to derail and be contrarian in the context of this discussion.

What I did take personally, however, was you basically calling me a pervert and then comparing me to a Saudi fundamentalist in your replies,
and if you want to prove to me that you don't have anything against me I want you to acknowledge this and apologize for it if you expect me to forgive your comments.
I just don't know what you expect. I repeatedly stated I had no intention to post something against you; the thread has more people than just you anyway. I also noted that I don't have anything against you :)
Maybe I felt frightened and had to bring the claws out - in such a case, please respect my safe space  :-D (and, in reality, I was just surprised you'd be in attack mode without any reason, but obviously everyone has their own views, including me and you - let's be/stay friends in the forum, and if not, let's move on  ;-D )
I feel like I've already said this a bunch of times before, but it is common knowledge emojis are used to show somebody is joking in online comments, and if you want to make a sincere attempt to send out an olive branch,
you really shouldn't joke about it or present a smirk while doing so. Also, don't pretend I'm arguing for no reason and stop treating everything I say as an attack on you, and then I'd be willing to move on.
I am reposting this because Honza can be used as an attack target instead of myself from now on :D
I really hope you're not going to try and go "don't pick me, pick him instead" on Honza here.

In case you've missed it, I don't go around attacking random people for no reason, no matter how much you try to paint me in that light.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 15:44
Spoiler: ShowHide
Well, seeing that context, I personally think [spoiler]the version where the princess stays dressed sounds more thematically interesting. As for the swimsuit twist, you're right that the dynamics change with the princess dressed, though you could probably still make a comment on how the princess is honest about covering up, while the journalist pretends to be bare and transparent but hides it. Like, after successfully making the princess feel embarrassed for wanting to stay covered, she rises up to show she too is covered while just berating the princess for it.

Thanks, also starting to lean towards that option. It's "safer", makes sense and can work just as well.
It will be interesting to see it play out in the full game, best of luck with it!
As for the bubble bath in the screenshot, did you watch this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHVN21gYm30) Robin Hood: Men in tights scene for inspiration?

I didn't! I've never seen that. And I felt so clever for coming up with that :).
I guess that's convergent evolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergent_evolution) in action!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 15:57
I'm sorry, but I have to say I also read your first reaction to Kyriakos as aggressive and condescending.
If I came across as angry, it was because I've already seen a ton of nudes posted in feminist discussions as "jokes" by sexist dudes in other forums.
I've tried my best to explain my initial reaction, and maybe I was too brash in the way I said it, but I still think KyriakosCH's answers were far ruder.
I just don't know what you expect. I repeatedly stated I had no intention to post something against you; the thread has more people than just you anyway. I also noted that I don't have anything against you :)
I didn't think the first image of the painting was meant for me specifically, but I did see it as a bad joke trying to derail and be contrarian in the context of this discussion.

What I did take personally, however, was you basically calling me a pervert and then comparing me to a Saudi fundamentalist in your replies,
and if you want to prove to me that you don't have anything against me I want you to acknowledge this and apologize for it if you expect me to forgive your comments.
I just don't know what you expect. I repeatedly stated I had no intention to post something against you; the thread has more people than just you anyway. I also noted that I don't have anything against you :)
Maybe I felt frightened and had to bring the claws out - in such a case, please respect my safe space  :-D (and, in reality, I was just surprised you'd be in attack mode without any reason, but obviously everyone has their own views, including me and you - let's be/stay friends in the forum, and if not, let's move on  ;-D )
I feel like I've already said this a bunch of times before, but it is common knowledge emojis are used to show somebody is joking in online comments, and if you want to make a sincere attempt to send out an olive branch,
you really shouldn't joke about it or present a smirk while doing so. Also, don't pretend I'm arguing for no reason and stop treating everything I say as an attack on you, and then I'd be willing to move on.
I am reposting this because Honza can be used as an attack target instead of myself from now on :D
I really hope you're not going to try and go "don't pick me, pick him instead" on Honza here.

In case you've missed it, I don't go around attacking random people for no reason, no matter how much you try to paint me in that light.

Look, if you are looking for an apology, reflect on yourself starting this with your rather strange response.
Either way, as I said, I won't bother more with this.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 16:19
Look, if you are looking for an apology, reflect on yourself starting this with your rather strange response.
Either way, as I said, I won't bother more with this.
And what's so strange about it?

I've already done all I can to explain myself, my reaction, and why I posted my initial complaint.
I find it stranger that you keep replying to me, yet you also keep ignoring virtually all the things I say.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Cassiebsg on 10 Feb 2021, 16:35
Some people is useless to argue with, they just focus on their views and are unable to see it from someone elses view point. I feel like you are wasting your energy Blondbraid, but I admire your persistence in trying to explain.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 16:46
Some people is useless to argue with, they just focus on their views and are unable to see it from someone elses view point. I feel like you are wasting your energy Blondbraid, but I admire your persistence in trying to explain.
I'm glad to see at least someone else read my replies.

I guess it's just been one of these days where you desperately wish the point of view gun was real.  (roll)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 17:17
Good job on finding Cassie to help - it's not like there has been any bad blood there :P

Anyway, Blondbraid, sorry that you felt insulted by what I wrote. I also felt surprised and insulted by what you wrote. I hope we can now move on :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 10 Feb 2021, 17:58

To be precise, this thread is not strictly about sexism. It's about discriminations in games and media and obviously the sexism is one of that.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 18:00
Good job on finding Cassie to help - it's not like there has been any bad blood there :P

Anyway, Blondbraid, sorry that you felt insulted by what I wrote. I also felt surprised and insulted by what you wrote. I hope we can now move on :)
I'm not in control of Cassie, she speaks for herself.

I apologize if the way I wrote my initial reply was too impolite (but I still stand by the points I've made), and I hope you've at least tried to learn something from what I've said.

I'm not going to bring this up again if you don't, so I hope we're done now.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Feb 2021, 18:07
Btw, Honza, your game looks seriously cool  8-)

Thank you!  ;-D

I guess it's just been one of these days where you desperately wish the point of view gun was real.  (roll)


Holy sh*t, I was thinking of exactly the same scene in relation to this thread about two hours ago!  8-0
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Cassiebsg on 10 Feb 2021, 19:07
@KyriakosCH, I'm not engaging you. There's no point in talking to doors.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 19:36
This is the Way :P
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 19:48
Holy sh*t, I was thinking of exactly the same scene in relation to this thread about two hours ago!  8-0
Well, it is a pretty great scene.  :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 10 Feb 2021, 20:04
Some AGS-made games had memorable female protagonists.
Two I have played are Fran Bow and The Cat Lady  8-)

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 22:43
Some AGS-made games had memorable female protagonists.
Two I have played are Fran Bow and The Cat Lady  8-)


Fran Bow was one of the few games I've played that dealt with dark things such as child abuse and mental disorders, and pulled it off rather well, though I think the game took a lot of visual and thematic inspiration from Alice: Madness Returns.

As for that game, the creator did give a pretty good explanation (https://alice.fandom.com/wiki/Alice_Liddell#Personality) as to how he was able to write a story for a female teenage character dealing with trauma and mental illness without it coming across as edgy or gratuitous.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 10 Feb 2021, 22:51
Just a little correction if I may, but Fran Bow was not made with AGS, they had their homebrew engine afaik.
(I still was not able to play it because it has a fullscreen effect during the mental hospital scenes that gives me nausea, and no way to turn it off. Maybe I will try again later)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Feb 2021, 23:41
Just a little correction if I may, but Fran Bow was not made with AGS, they had their homebrew engine afaik.
(I still was not able to play it because it has a fullscreen effect during the mental hospital scenes that gives me nausea, and no way to turn it off. Maybe I will try again later)
Do you mean the film-grain like flickering effect on the screen?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 10 Feb 2021, 23:58
Do you mean the film-grain like flickering effect on the screen?

I mean what happens when you take the pills: the reddish overlay with shaking and blurring (https://youtu.be/Lp2wPSWEC3Q?t=1077).

Last time I tried I felt so sick that had to stop playing.  :-X
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 11 Feb 2021, 08:39
Just a little correction if I may, but Fran Bow was not made with AGS, they had their homebrew engine afaik.
(I still was not able to play it because it has a fullscreen effect during the mental hospital scenes that gives me nausea, and no way to turn it off. Maybe I will try again later)

:D

It did look like AGS ^_^
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Pogwizd on 11 Feb 2021, 09:08
Just a little correction if I may, but Fran Bow was not made with AGS, they had their homebrew engine afaik.

I think I read in one of the interviews that they made it with Game Maker Studio.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 11 Feb 2021, 09:25
Do you mean the film-grain like flickering effect on the screen?

I mean what happens when you take the pills: the reddish overlay with shaking and blurring (https://youtu.be/Lp2wPSWEC3Q?t=1077).

Last time I tried I felt so sick that had to stop playing.  :-X
That's a shame.
I wish more games had people with sensitive eyes test the game before release, not to mention considering what would happen if say, someone epileptic played it.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 11 Feb 2021, 17:27
Grace (Nakamura, iirc) was a cool female character in the game Gabriel Knight. I have only played 1 and 3. Gabriel, on the other hand, was really ridiculous and a stereotype - but a female friend of mine was in love with him, and he was written by a woman in the first place  8-)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 11 Feb 2021, 17:54
Grace (Nakamura, iirc) was a cool female character in the game Gabriel Knight. I have only played 1 and 3. Gabriel, on the other hand, was really ridiculous and a stereotype - but a female friend of mine was in love with him, and he was written by a woman in the first place  8-)
Haven't played the game, but I've read a blog post by Jane Jensen (https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JaneJensen/20140414/215473/WRITING_HOT_MEN_FOR_GAMES_Yes_please.php) on her thoughts on writing Gabriel and her other characters, and specifically writing men she would want to fall in love with.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 11 Feb 2021, 20:21
I also think Fran Bow is excellent, and made in Gamemaker as far as I remember. (And, though the moment has long passed - I accept that Tintin has an apartment, I just don't think that many specifics are particularly important to his character.)

Grace (Nakamura, iirc) was a cool female character in the game Gabriel Knight. I have only played 1 and 3. Gabriel, on the other hand, was really ridiculous and a stereotype - but a female friend of mine was in love with him, and he was written by a woman in the first place  8-)

I'm sure you don't mean it like this, but I'm not sure why you're listing good female characters and (supposedly) bad male characters as if they offer a counterpoint? It's good that there are well written women, but for as long as there's a demonstrable imbalance in the ways men and women are portrayed in the media, it's worth talking about the kind of tools we can use as writers and critics to tackle biases.

That said, I don't know if Gabriel Knight is a stereotype - a stereotype of what? He may be the archetypal vain heart-throb and I'm sure he's popular with some female players, but he's not written in a way that insults the intelligence of male players.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 11 Feb 2021, 20:42
That said, I don't know if Gabriel Knight is a stereotype - a stereotype of what? He may be the archetypal vain heart-throb and I'm sure he's popular with some female players, but he's not written in a way that insults the intelligence of male players.
Perhaps except that he's not good with languages. It's been too long since I played these games, but I remember knowing a lot more than the character, simply because he couldn't understand a word of German. I didn't really mind, as I tend not to identify with the player character.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 11 Feb 2021, 21:21
I'm sure you don't mean it like this, but I'm not sure why you're listing good female characters and (supposedly) bad male characters as if they offer a counterpoint? It's good that there are well written women, but for as long as there's a demonstrable imbalance in the ways men and women are portrayed in the media, it's worth talking about the kind of tools we can use as writers and critics to tackle biases.
Yeah, KyriakosCH, I'm not trying to dissuade you from this discussion, but I would hope that in your future replies here, rather than just throwing out examples on a conveyor belt, if you want to bring up a female character you like in this discussion, try adding some thoughts on why you think they are a well-written character or a positive example in your reply. This isn't a competition where whoever namedrops the most positive examples win.
That said, I don't know if Gabriel Knight is a stereotype - a stereotype of what? He may be the archetypal vain heart-throb and I'm sure he's popular with some female players, but he's not written in a way that insults the intelligence of male players.
I haven't played the game, so I couldn't say, but I haven't seen any other men complain about Gabriel before.

As for male creators making idealized female characters, there are plenty of attractive characters like April Ryan, Lara Croft and Lightning from Final Fantasy that have a large female fanbase and are well liked, because they still are interesting characters in their own right,
and even female NPCs like Farah from Prince of Persia, Elena from Uncharted, and Governor Marley from Monkey Island are praised by lots of female gamers because they have memorable personalities and offer a lot more to the story than just being love interests,
wheras the female characters that have drawn the most criticism usually have been character that are nothing and do nothing except look hot and/or fawn over the male hero, and they are objectified in a way I've never seen a male character be outside blatant parody.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 11 Feb 2021, 23:25
Yeah, if you compare Elaine Marley with her counterpart in Pirates of the Caribbean, she's leagues ahead. She's the Governor, not the Governor's daughter and she's perfectly capable of rescuing herself - until Guybrush messes up her plan. She fulfils a conventional Princess-in-a-tower role - but she does it in individualised way.

By contrast, Heavy Rain's Madison Paige (from a game 20 years later) is an absurdly underwritten character. But Heavy Rain was critically acclaimed - it won 3 BAFTAS here in the UK - and I think it matters when big 'serious' games fail so badly to represent anyone other than deeply incurious (white) men. (I don't want to bang on about how bad Heavy Rain is. But on the other hand, I do, because it's extraordinarily bad.)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 06:19
I also think Fran Bow is excellent, and made in Gamemaker as far as I remember. (And, though the moment has long passed - I accept that Tintin has an apartment, I just don't think that many specifics are particularly important to his character.)

Grace (Nakamura, iirc) was a cool female character in the game Gabriel Knight. I have only played 1 and 3. Gabriel, on the other hand, was really ridiculous and a stereotype - but a female friend of mine was in love with him, and he was written by a woman in the first place  8-)

I'm sure you don't mean it like this, but I'm not sure why you're listing good female characters and (supposedly) bad male characters as if they offer a counterpoint? It's good that there are well written women, but for as long as there's a demonstrable imbalance in the ways men and women are portrayed in the media, it's worth talking about the kind of tools we can use as writers and critics to tackle biases.

That said, I don't know if Gabriel Knight is a stereotype - a stereotype of what? He may be the archetypal vain heart-throb and I'm sure he's popular with some female players, but he's not written in a way that insults the intelligence of male players.

Not sure what you are talking about, clearly the male characters in Gabriel Knight are well-written; for another example, take Gabriel's Friend, Moseley, who is there as a joke about middle-aged males with thinning hair  :=

My point is just that more often than not, media have uninteresting writing about both males and females.

Though I can accept this thread is about problematic presentation of females, so perhaps there's nothing of use I can contribute, given I don't feel strongly about the subject and am pessimistic about the results of any rules forced to bring about meaningful change.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 07:37
By contrast, Heavy Rain's Madison Paige (from a game 20 years later) is an absurdly underwritten character. But Heavy Rain was critically acclaimed - it won 3 BAFTAS here in the UK - and I think it matters when big 'serious' games fail so badly to represent anyone other than deeply incurious (white) men. (I don't want to bang on about how bad Heavy Rain is. But on the other hand, I do, because it's extraordinarily bad.)
I remember thinking Heavy Rain was deep the first time it came out, in part because I was young and stupid and still an edgy teen, but also because I'd been "taught" by media and reviewers that overtly showing a bunch of emotional things on the screen in a "realistic" fashion automatically makes it deep, and I think David Cage, the writer of Heavy rain, very much plays on this. I already wrote in my previous comment here (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58758.msg636631568#msg636631568) on how I thought Madison was a badly written character drawing on sexist tropes, but I've come to feel David Cage is a huge hack in general, using cliched emotional imagery to trick people into thinking that provoking emotions is the same as being deep, and relying on the fact that video games have yet to utilize the cliches he's using to the same extent as bad movie dramas and soap operas to make gamers think he's novel and daring.

David Cages modus operandi is basically to show scenes containing any of the following;

- a 6 to 9-year-old child in mortal peril
- an attractive white woman threatened with sexual assault
- people of color being mysterious and inspirational, possibly magical
- showing that drugs are baaaad
- a white man brooding about how depressed he is
- mentions of world politics. No real commentary, just copying imagery from news
- random dream sequences
- homeless people hanging out in the cold
- show how "human" and "vulnerable" his characters are via a bunch of shower scenes

And he then relies on the audience associating those subjects with similar scenes from oscar-winning dramas and think that because both his games and oscar dramas both have such scenes, his games must be just as deep as oscar dramas.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 08:22
I didn't know of that game (Heavy Rain), and looking at youtube thumbnails I am not inclined to learn more... I am biased against this style of graphics :)

As for "incurious white men", I am not seeing how formatting this to include "white men" as if it is a block, helps with anything - incurious or not. In the US it seems to be a distinction ("white men" or xyz "white men") that exists specifically because of the very numerous black and also "hispanic" (which imo are mostly white too, fwiw) minorities, but it makes little to no sense in most of Europe (only a couple of european countries actually have significant number-wise "non-white" minorities).
Of course, to note the obvious, no two people are the same. Let alone whatever groups "white men" is supposed to gather and pack together. As someone who lived in London in his late teens-early 20s (due to university studies), I can tell you that there isn't that much in common between the average english person and a south european, regardless of terming any group as "white".
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 09:27
Though I can accept this thread is about problematic presentation of females, so perhaps there's nothing of use I can contribute, given I don't feel strongly about the subject and am pessimistic about the results of any rules forced to bring about meaningful change.
If you don't feel strongly about the subject, why do you keep posting here then? Also, NO ONE is forcing a bunch of universal rules on writers, all people have done here is discussing media trends and tried to raise awareness,
the idea that the Bechdel test and similar things is forced upon writers is a big straw-man argument, and this har already been pointed out several times in this very thread. How have you been able to miss this?
I didn't know of that game (Heavy Rain), and looking at youtube thumbnails I am not inclined to learn more... I am biased against this style of graphics :)

As for "incurious white men", I am not seeing how formatting this to include "white men" as if it is a block, helps with anything - incurious or not. In the US it seems to be a distinction ("white men" or xyz "white men") that exists specifically because of the very numerous black and also "hispanic" (which imo are mostly white too, fwiw) minorities, but it makes little to no sense in most of Europe (only a couple of european countries actually have significant number-wise "non-white" minorities).
Of course, to note the obvious, no two people are the same. Let alone whatever groups "white men" is supposed to gather and pack together. As someone who lived in London in his late teens-early 20s (due to university studies), I can tell you that there isn't that much in common between the average english person and a south european, regardless of terming any group as "white".
I phrased it as "a white man brooding about how depressed he is" because David Cage keeps including scenes of white men brooding, something he's never done in any larger capacity for his female and non-white male characters. I commented on a pattern in David Cage games on which kind of characters he keeps putting in which kind of situations, and I also noted that he keeps putting white women in damsel positions and none-white men and women in the role of inspirational helpers, and I'm not sure why it's the generalisation of white men brooding that you took umbrage with.

Also, while you're right that in real life, there will be lots of ethnic and cultural differences between "white men", within media depictions,
and video games especially, there very much are a specific type of white men that keeps being portrayed over and over again:
(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/170/696/cfc.jpg)
(and more than one of these characters is from a David Cage game)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 12 Feb 2021, 09:30
I'm not making generalisations about white men as a group.

I'm talking about "incurious white men", because Heavy Rain is written from the perspective of the white, male protagonist (arguably, the white male designer / imagined player) and the game only approaches making sense if you don't think about any other characters' perspective.

I'm going to leave to one side the idea that whiteness is irrelevant in Europe, because I think you're wrong, but I also think it's beyond the bounds of this thread.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 09:34
(double post!!!)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 09:34

(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/170/696/cfc.jpg)
(and more than one of these characters is from a David Cage game)

^Hey, buying different models costs money, so they may as well use the same model for all "white men" ^_^
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 12 Feb 2021, 09:39
^Hey, buying different models costs money, so they may as well use the same model for all "white men" ^_^
Well, that's what happened (more or less) with regards to paintings of Christ.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 09:58
^Hey, buying different models costs money, so they may as well use the same model for all "white men" ^_^
Well, that's what happened (more or less) with regards to paintings of Christ.
I get why a poor village church 200 years before the internet would copy paintings, but I don't get why a modern multi-million dollar company
wouldn't be willing to shell out a few extra bucks to make the dude they're gonna put on their marketing look different from the dude that rival
multi-million dollar companies are gonna put on all their marketing.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 12 Feb 2021, 10:14
Am I the only one who looks at that list of "generic white dudes" and can't find two who are really all that alike? Is this just a reverse case of the "all asians look the same to westerners" trope? That image alone hosts a wide array of different nationalities, facial structures, archetypes, hairstyles, skin colours and more, and thus seems to already represent a wide array of different races where one might well argue several of them aren't even all that white.

Also: when did this thread become about white men being a problem again? I thought we were talking about gender equality?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 10:31
Also: when did this thread become about white men being a problem again? I thought we were talking about gender equality?
It's not white men in and on themselves that's the problem, it's how a specific character archetype is massively over-represented and used as a "default" that's the problem.

And I don't think they're all that visually distinct, they all have dark brown hair that looks like it came from North Korea's list of state-approved haircuts, clan shave or stubble, square jawline,
and any difference in skin tone looks more like differences in lighting than them really having all that different skin tones.

And if you think they're that different in story and personality, try seeing how they score on the Male protagonist Bingo first:
(https://gomakemeasandwich.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/male-protagonist-bingo.jpg?w=768&h=845)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 10:57
Am I the only one who looks at that list of "generic white dudes" and can't find two who are really all that alike? Is this just a reverse case of the "all asians look the same to westerners" trope? That image alone hosts a wide array of different nationalities, facial structures, archetypes, hairstyles, skin colours and more, and thus seems to already represent a wide array of different races where one might well argue several of them aren't even all that white.

Also: when did this thread become about white men being a problem again? I thought we were talking about gender equality?

I think that if you are watching too carefully images of white men, you are committing a hate crime  :=
Just buy a random model and use for all - can't afford more when minorities or the relative majority of the other gender are the focus.

Bad writing seems to be universal - it's just that female protagonists are rarer than male, most likely because currently the majority of game writers are male. With female writers becoming a majority, we will see more bad writing from them too.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 11:39
Am I the only one who looks at that list of "generic white dudes" and can't find two who are really all that alike? Is this just a reverse case of the "all asians look the same to westerners" trope? That image alone hosts a wide array of different nationalities, facial structures, archetypes, hairstyles, skin colours and more, and thus seems to already represent a wide array of different races where one might well argue several of them aren't even all that white.

Also: when did this thread become about white men being a problem again? I thought we were talking about gender equality?

I think that if you are watching too carefully images of white men, you are committing a hate crime  :=
Just buy a random model and use for all - can't afford more when minorities or the relative majority of the other gender are the focus.
What's this? Can it be?

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's one more straw man added to their growing family!
(http://takimag.com/images/uploads/shutterstock_174452267-2.jpg)
Bad writing seems to be universal - it's just that female protagonists are rarer than male, most likely because currently the majority of game writers are male. With female writers becoming a majority, we will see more bad writing from them too.
I'm not saying there aren't bad female writers, because there sure are, but unlike several bad male writers, at least there's no one pretending their bad writing is deep and high art.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 11:44
Anyway, thank you for not reading each post of mine as directed at you, or as deadly serious despite bothering to even add the "trolling" smiley:  := := := := := := := :=

Imo good writing in computer games is extremely rare to non-existent - for various reasons. The more crucial reason (as I noted before in the thread) being that writing is a solitary work and in games you either have a team with different people doing different stuff, or you just have one person who can't be great in all (writing, coding, gfx etc).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 12 Feb 2021, 11:51
Writing is a solitary work

This, famously, is the reason that there are no good American sitcoms or long-form dramas. Writers rooms simply don't work, and that's why The Wire was so terrible.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 12:01
Anyway, thank you for not reading each post of mine as directed at you, or as deadly serious despite bothering to even add the "trolling" smiley:  := := := := := := := :=
I get your implications, but I doubt you got mine.  (roll)
Writing is a solitary work

This, famously, is the reason that there are no good American sitcoms or long-form dramas. Writers rooms simply don't work, and that's why The Wire was so terrible.
Some of the most terrible books of all time were written by authors sitting alone and refusing any form of input, constructive critique or even basic quality control by other people.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 12 Feb 2021, 12:15
I think one of the reasons I find it difficult to discuss this with you, KyriakosCH, is that you have an extremely fixed idea of what writing is, or ought to be, and anything that falls outside of that can just be brushed aside as "bad writing".

Heavy Rain is definitely an example of bad, bad writing. But there are plenty of sexist portrayals of women from good writers. There are worthwhile questions to ask about the way the film Alien looks at Ripley taking her clothes off, in a film rightly praised for its portrayal of the female lead.

People have valid concerns, and you can't just dismiss them by saying, "Yes, but almost all game writing is bad, and here are some badly written male characters." It's missing the point.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 12 Feb 2021, 12:51
I think one of the reasons I find it difficult to discuss this with you, KyriakosCH, is that you have an extremely fixed idea of what writing is, or ought to be, and anything that falls outside of that can just be brushed aside as "bad writing".



Still you might agree that this is a luxury (your own problem with discussing with me) when compared to what I am facing in this thread  :-D

Anyway, I am done here, I fear some people think I think very highly of them and that's why I stay civil.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 13:01
I think one of the reasons I find it difficult to discuss this with you, KyriakosCH, is that you have an extremely fixed idea of what writing is, or ought to be, and anything that falls outside of that can just be brushed aside as "bad writing".



Still you might agree that this is a luxury (your own problem with discussing with me) when compared to what I am facing in this thread  :-D

Anyway, I am done here, I fear some people think I think very highly of them and that's why I stay civil.
And what have you faced in this thread exactly?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 12 Feb 2021, 13:07
And what have you faced in this thread exactly?

A computer screen.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 13:13
And what have you faced in this thread exactly?

A computer screen.
(https://media.tenor.com/images/22a7493c466ac65146764dc9d59d7be5/tenor.gif)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 12 Feb 2021, 17:41
Is this just a reverse case of the "all asians look the same to westerners" trope?
Bizarre thing is, in manga and anime the charachter are usually japanese but are draw in full pink skin and even with blonde hair and blue eyes. And even in videogames.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 12 Feb 2021, 18:01
It should hardly need to be said that there's no comparison between the racist assertion that a particular ethnic group look alike, and the correct observation that characters created for AAA games look similar.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 18:14
Is this just a reverse case of the "all asians look the same to westerners" trope?
Bizarre thing is, in manga and anime the charachter are usually japanese but are draw in full pink skin and even with blonde hair and blue eyes. And even in videogames.

_
I got the impression the "default" anime skin color was a more neutral white (and much of Asia too has a pale skin ideal, not necessarily western), and as for blonde hair, there's also a lot of pink and blue hair. From what I've seen, since so many characters have generic anime faces, the animators use exotic hair colors to discern them instead.
It should hardly need to be said that there's no comparison between the racist assertion that a particular ethnic group look alike, and the correct observation that characters created for AAA games look similar.
True that, real people don't choose the racial traits they're born with, but AAA game developers choose to give all white male protagonists square jawlines, short dark brown hair and constipated facial expressions.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 12 Feb 2021, 18:53
The bingo thing still makes sense, though, if we look at the games and their stories from a purely supply and demand point of view. There is clearly a millions strong audience out there, hungry for these kinds of power fantasy games with 'gritty' stories and hulking rolemodel protagonists that are just bad-boy enough to be kind of edgy and controversial, and every kid I grew up with had one or more phases where fantasies of military and combat experience, however unrealistic, ran rampant. Trying to say "We want games to stop catering to this pre-existing audience and instead cater to a different audience" is a futile effort, and seems misguided to me. Rather than trying to say "those games and characters are bad design", we need people actually making those different and better designs, showing off it can be done, and then we need new audiences to find those games and enjoy them.

The question is: is the demand really there? And what will it take to get game companies to take the plunge and make an honest effort at stepping out of their comfort zone and profitable, pre-established market?

In my opinion, it will take a similar growth story that the currently dominant market was born out of. Small indie developers creating new things, and building those up into something greater over time, eventually becoming a business rather than an art. Sadly, 'games for girls' that exist nowadays didn't really start there, and seem to come from one of three backgrounds:
1) The corporate cash grab, along the lines of barbie horse adventures, where a big corporation makes a half-hearted token gesture to the female gamer market.
2) The Bejeweled / mobile game, which is technically a game, but has little to experience and often no story or characters at all.
3) Traditionally male focused games being turned into female variants of themselves, often by developers who aren't entirely interested or are working under such strict limitations that the whole idea is dead on arrival.

What I think we need: more female indie game developers doing their own thing, proving themselves and making the kinds of games that are both worth playing and something these female developers actually want to see.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 12 Feb 2021, 19:50
I think more female developers doing their own thing and making good games is what we need, but I don't agree that "market forces" or "audience demand" are neutral explanations for the media landscape we live in. It ignores the fact that media production and consumption have a reciprocal relationship. (Indie hits demonstrate that there's no lack of demand for 2D games, but publishers simply wouldn't publish them for about a decade after 2000 because they were believed to be unmarketable.)

More importantly, saying "women need to make more good games" risks placing the responsibility for fixing inequality on the people who are disadvantaged.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 12 Feb 2021, 20:01
More importantly, saying "women need to make more good games" risks placing the responsibility for fixing inequality on the people who are disadvantaged.

True, but telling male devs who want to make the kinds of games they like that "you need to make these other kinds of games despite not wanting to" isn't likely to produce quality games either, and will just end up leaving all parties unsatisfied. It happens already, it's called having a crap job, and it is exactly how games like Barbie Horse Adventures and such come to be.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 12 Feb 2021, 20:33
I'm not sure why Barbie fans shouldn't be able to enjoy a Horse Adventure. Either way, I think it's silly to imagine that male devs only want to make macho, violent games, or that they're being forced to make politically correct games by some ineffable feminist agency.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 20:37
More importantly, saying "women need to make more good games" risks placing the responsibility for fixing inequality on the people who are disadvantaged.

True, but telling male devs who want to make the kinds of games they like that "you need to make these other kinds of games despite not wanting to" isn't likely to produce quality games either, and will just end up leaving all parties unsatisfied. It happens already, it's called having a crap job, and it is exactly how games like Barbie Horse Adventures and such come to be.
1. Most women in this forum already are making their own indie games, myself included, but my most popular game has about a 1000 downloads, a drop in the ocean compared to AAA games.

2. How many of the men in the AAA industry do you think truly want to make yet another bro-dude shooter, and how many are made to do so by executives?
Toby Gard has stated himself that making Lara Croft a woman had nothing to do with developers making him, but because all their earlier concepts making the Tomb Raider a man only led to lesser copies of Indiana Jones,
and on the flipside, the developers behind Remember me said that they had to fight tooth and nail to get to make a game with a female protagonist (https://www.polygon.com/2013/3/18/4120694/remember-me-publishers-balked-at-female-lead-character), but it was publishers and executives from above that tried to force them
to make her a man, and Naughty Dog had to remove the female co-lead Ellie from the front of the cover of The Last of Us for a similar reason.

As for Horse Adventure games, nearly all I've played have been bad, but that is 100% down to a terrible budget and execution, patronizing gameplay and ugly graphics, not because I disliked the concept or ideas.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 12 Feb 2021, 20:59
A thousand downloads is nothing to be scoffed at, and comparing yourself to AAA titles with millions of funding is senseless.
The whole game industry started from small, and grew up over time. Now we need to grow a new branch of it, if we want to see a new kind of audience catered to, and a thousand downloads is a damn fine start!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 22:55
A thousand downloads is nothing to be scoffed at, and comparing yourself to AAA titles with millions of funding is senseless.
The whole game industry started from small, and grew up over time. Now we need to grow a new branch of it, if we want to see a new kind of audience catered to, and a thousand downloads is a damn fine start!
As inspiring as you sound, I want you to know the reason I got into gaming in the first place was exactly because I was able to find a mainstream AAA heroine, Lara Croft, to relate to and show me games
didn't need to be exclusively about muscle-men or relegated to the cheap and patronizing girl-game ghetto, and I want other girls growing up to have the same opportunities, because as well as my games are going,
I cannot build a new branch alone.

But it's not just about skills and funds, it's also about the fact that a great deal of man-children will actively try to push women out of game development and criticism too.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 12 Feb 2021, 23:07
That's kind of funny. It seems that, like most icons, Lara is many things depending on who you ask. She's either a sex icon driving women away from games with her polygonal titties and short shorts, while male gamers drool over her, or she's a strong, inspiring female protagonist.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 Feb 2021, 23:40
That's kind of funny. It seems that, like most icons, Lara is many things depending on who you ask. She's either a sex icon driving women away from games with her polygonal titties and short shorts, while male gamers drool over her, or she's a strong, inspiring female protagonist.
The fact that you think you can boil her down to those stereotypes so easily just goes to show how little you understand.

No, Lara isn't a perfect unifying icon, she's what got me personally into gaming, and at that time, she was the best representation I had access to.

You don't get what it's like to not be represented, because guys are ALWAYS represented in every piece of media, even the ones exclusively marketed to little girls, meanwhile, as a girl, you're given a small box of princesses, eye candy  and love interests to fit into, and if you want a fellow female character who doesn't fit into that narrow box, countless man-children will complain that you are forcing your politics onto them, and merely being a woman will be seen as a political statement by them.

And all the while, I keep seeing men who already have all the characters they could possibly want, presented in opulent high-budget games, their heroes stamped on every thumbnail and they themselves catered to by
every single mainstream game company full of professional developers, tell women to "just make your own games" when they ask for a sliver of what the dudes have already had for decades. And all the while a huge chunk of them will start a massive uproar at the mere idea that any of "their" game companies might stop catering exclusively to them and maybe, just maybe start to include women in their projects and marketing.

Beats me why. Maybe they think it's a zero-sum game and are afraid the game industry will start to treat them the same way they've treated female players?  (roll)

All I know is that I'm infinitely tired of constantly having to justify myself just for wanting to female heroes to be just as diverse and respected as male heroes.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 13 Feb 2021, 01:32
Is this just a reverse case of the "all asians look the same to westerners" trope?
Bizarre thing is, in manga and anime the charachter are usually japanese but are draw in full pink skin and even with blonde hair and blue eyes. And even in videogames.

_
I got the impression the "default" anime skin color was a more neutral white (and much of Asia too has a pale skin ideal, not necessarily western), and as for blonde hair, there's also a lot of pink and blue hair. From what I've seen, since so many characters have generic anime faces, the animators use exotic hair colors to discern them instead.

Wondered about this once, and found few articles that gave me a rough overview of the situation. In brief from what I recall, the japanese do not distinct peoples race by the skin colour as much as westerners, they use other features to do so, and even then they usually tend to distinct characters by personality traits rather than nationality. Also, if anyone's curious, you can find tables of colours for anime and manga that tell how standard hair or eye colour and even facial expression match with certain personality trait :).



2. How many of the men in the AAA industry do you think truly want to make yet another bro-dude shooter, and how many are made to do so by executives?
Toby Gard has stated himself that making Lara Croft a woman had nothing to do with developers making him, but because all their earlier concepts making the Tomb Raider a man only led to lesser copies of Indiana Jones,
and on the flipside, the developers behind Remember me said that they had to fight tooth and nail to get to make a game with a female protagonist (https://www.polygon.com/2013/3/18/4120694/remember-me-publishers-balked-at-female-lead-character), but it was publishers and executives from above that tried to force them
to make her a man, and Naughty Dog had to remove the female co-lead Ellie from the front of the cover of The Last of Us for a similar reason.

Well, damn.
I became a fantasy maniac in the 90-ies when the post-soviet market became fully open for western media, have read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi novels, predominantly from mid-XX century USA. Then around late 90-ies got so dissatisfied with the whole genre that stopped reading it completely for the next 15 or so years (even missed now super popular things like "Witcher" and "Song of Ice and Fire").
The reason was that they were sooo same - in everything - from protagonist type to their relationships, to plot twists, to the fantasy world inhabitants.

This may sound silly, but around early 2000 I was pondering over writing my our RPG games, and set a rule for myself that if I ever do one, in my games there will be more different characters and more different races. Heck, in my program I even did not hardcode "biological sex types" but made a customizable list of sexes per species lol. And that was long before learning about all the contemporary social discussions (Internet was not much a thing for me until mid-2000ies).

Sorry if this is not directly relevant to the discussion, I just had to say this, because that's what also was bugging me all those years :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 13 Feb 2021, 02:15
Speaking of games, I dont think strategy genre was much mentioned in the thread?

Something I thought about recently, but number of fantasy or sci fi strategy games had main female characters. "Heroes of Might and Magic" always was pretty gender diverse, in both heroes and units. Earlier games had rather generic campaign and stories, but starting from HoMM III there were female campaign protagonists too. But then, these games were based on party RPG game series, the genre that's commonly gender diverse on its own.

Starcraft series had a female protagonist (https://starcraft.fandom.com/wiki/Sarah_Kerrigan) with a pretty complicated relationship to the rest of the characters (this was afaik the first time Blizzard played the "good character turning bad" thing), and she has got something like a cult following among players.
I don't think Warcraft had fully fledged characters at all until Warcraft 3, but there they had both female protagonists and also Night Elves were practically a race with matriarchal society (or so I remember): that race is represented by a portrait of female unit usually (https://onegreattake.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/105-1056771_warcraft-movie-poster-warcraft-3-races-1024x576.jpg).

With strategy games ofcourse characters themselves may seem less important, as you are mostly dealing with generic units in game, and characters serve rather as a background setting. So perhaps they are less important in the context of the given problem. Or do they? dunno.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 13 Feb 2021, 02:22
This is purely speculative, and I apologise if it's off-topic. But I wouldn't be surprised if the US occupation of Japan had some influence on the development of (seemingly) western character art in Manga and Anime. I know that the American occupiers were very concerned with propaganda in the Japanese film industry - not just censoring but deliberately promoting American values and, perhaps inevitably, western aesthetics. Pigs and Battleships is a terrific Japanese film satirising the period.

On topic, Blondbraid isn't the first woman I've met who absolutely loved Lara Croft. But that doesn't mean Croft wasn't designed to be sexually objectified. We don't have to take the binary view that everything is either good or bad.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 13 Feb 2021, 02:57
Manga art emerged from long traditions of drawing in Japan. The appearance of wider eyes in manga art stems from inspiration from American cartoons like Dumbo, not being forced on the Japanese, but because artists never thought of drawing huge eyes before and were impressed by the potential it gave for facial expressions.


deliberately promoting American values and, perhaps inevitably, western aesthetics.


This is what I have an issue with, this tendency for Americans to equal "western" with their own US vision. All while they relentlessly trash mainland Europeans. Or to be back on topic, there is no reason why Mainland European males from, say, France or Italy (two cultures that are treated in a monstruously xenophobic way in Anglo-American media) would feel "represented" by a white American actor whom they know probably hates and despises them deep inside.

Americans make it all about race because it is their main debate and main vision but, as a multiethnic and multilingual people with no roots in the Anglosphere, I find language a much more important tool of discimination. Native Anglophones of any skin colour have a huge privilege and a huge power over non-Anglophones of any colour. Just ask yourself which language we have to use just to have this conversation in the first place.

Having roots in both Mainland Europe and East Asia, I can tell you both cultural spheres are not impressed at all when they see Americans or other Anglophones talking in their behalf. And we would be interested to see a movie or a game with an East Asian person that wasn't raised in an Anglophone country and whose worth is not only assessed in comparison to the Anglosphere, or a Mainland European who is not a laughable weird coward punching ball whose eating habits are mocked by people who eat hamburgers for breakfast.

And personally, I'd love to see someone whose identity is to be multicultural, equally from different linguistic spheres, and not the Anglosphere. This has never happened. And that's what I try to portray in most stories I write.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 13 Feb 2021, 03:17
@FormosaFalanster
you know, one of the reasons I made my first post in this thread (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58758.msg636631161#msg636631161) secretly was that one of the articles (https://www.the-unedit.com/posts/2018/8/20/7-tests-that-arent-the-bechdel-test-that-measure-movies-for-gender-equality-and-representation) linked by TheFrighter in original post has this paragraph:

Quote
The Villalobos Test focuses on representation for Latina women and fighting common stereotypes. Firstly, there must be a Latina lead, and subsequently the lead — or another Latina character — must be shown as professional or college educated, as well as speaking unaccented English, and must not be sexualised (as a key character trait).

That raised my eyebrow, although on one hand I realize that's related to some common problem in USA media, but on another, generally, there should not be anything wrong in Latina person speaking accented English or not speaking English at all, as not only they have their own language, but they may as well be citizens of another both non-Latino and non-english speaking country. I.e. you would not want to have this test formulated literally same way for, say, France.
Also, again I see this from personal perspective, but it feels kind of... weird, that speaking with/out an accent and having education is put in a trait group together. I.e. what if there's, say, German professor who speaks any other given language with a german accent - would that be seen as negative trait? Does not that imply and strengthen another stereotype about people speaking with an accent being less educated?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 13 Feb 2021, 03:30
I totally agree. I speak English with a heavy accent and that should be fine. Native Anglophones should be more tolerant with people speaking with an accent. The fact that a character speak with an accent means they can speak several languages so they are not intellectually inferior. A "non-white" should not have to be a perfect Anglophone to be seen as successfu - neither should a "white" from a non english speaking country.

The world is full of non-native English speakers in successful position yet we keep portraying the world as dominated by people who speak like a CNN news anchor. That's like the bad stereotype of "black people acting white" and giving up all their black culture to act like a white person in order to be accepted. We should not have to be raised in the English language to be seen as competent and intellectually equal to others.

Again, from my perspective, it is native Anglophones who are not as clever because you can be sure they do not speak any foreign language.

But that's because the test you posted here is solely for the satisfaction of Anglophones. It disregards what us people would think about it. And they do not realize we have to speak that language only because it is forced into us.


Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 13 Feb 2021, 03:41
That's kind of funny. It seems that, like most icons, Lara is many things depending on who you ask. She's either a sex icon driving women away from games with her polygonal titties and short shorts, while male gamers drool over her, or she's a strong, inspiring female protagonist.
The fact that you think you can boil her down to those stereotypes so easily just goes to show how little you understand.
Oh, come on. The guy makes a fair point that Lara Croft has been viewed both ways. Don't go "how little you understand" because of his opinions in another thread. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that Lara Croft at first was criticized for being eye candy for male players, but then it turned out that the games attracted more female players, presumably because they liked being able to play as a woman. And the games were good, so the boys didn't mind either. Anyway, in later years, the breast proportions seem to be scaled down without anyone thinking that's a bad move.

Quote
No, Lara isn't a perfect unifying icon, she's what got me personally into gaming, and at that time, she was the best representation I had access to.

One must start somewhere. I happen to think Wonder Woman was a great movie, and that the character has been written well in some comics I've read, even though she has inherited a skimpy outfit. It turns out she can still be an icon or a role model. But I would secretly wish for the next generation of superheroines to wear something more practical than a revealing suit - the chainmail bikini trope. If the artist want her to be pretty, she could be while in her secret identity. In the movies, this is frequently done with the less iconic heroes (like X-Men wearing what amounts to a uniform), but I realize you can't easily do that with Wonder Woman or Supergirl (in a skirt!) because the image is better known.

Quote
All I know is that I'm infinitely tired of constantly having to justify myself just for wanting to female heroes to be just as diverse and respected as male heroes.
You don't have to. I think most of the people here want that. But showing how and why white males dominate as protagonists, is useful by drawing a larger picture.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 13 Feb 2021, 03:53
But that's because the test you posted here is solely for the satisfaction of Anglophones. It disregards what us people would think about it. And they do not realize we have to speak that language only because it is forced into us.

Ahhh, well, guess each sees this in their own way; personally I would say it's "forced" about like, say, gravity forces us, it's a part of the enviroment, consequence of the political influence anglophone countries had since mid-XIX century. If I recall right, French language was considered ultimate before that, and before that - maybe Italian.
I'd even say this may come handy, as you learn 1 extra language and then can speak with almost everyone :).
But ofcourse this causes these issues when perfectly speaking a language becomes a stereotypical requirement to fight other stereotypes :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 13 Feb 2021, 04:09
Truth is that I love the English language and the culture that goes with it. I love speaking English. I love that there is a lingua franca we can all use to communicate with each other.

I like it less when those who speak it natively just take it for granted and use their mastery of it as leverage. In fact it has not always been the case. The English language is seen as the international one since WWI but its native speakers started seeing it at the standard way of thought only once Anglophone pop culture skyrocketed in the 1950s onward.

It's less about business or politics and more about culture. Whether the common language is French or English or Latin or whatever, people in business or politics would never see someone with a foreign accent as inferior or laughable, they would just communicate to acheive their goal, they would probably be sensitive not to appear as dominant even if they were. But we talk about cultural representation here, just as in the test you posted: in business I see foreign speakers who are successful but on TV they all have to speak perfectly? Why?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 13 Feb 2021, 08:40
And what have you faced in this thread exactly?

A computer screen.

Computer screens are scary.

Also, I felt like I shouldn't be the first one to keep to their word, so maybe I will post again  :=
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 13 Feb 2021, 08:48
On topic, Blondbraid isn't the first woman I've met who absolutely loved Lara Croft. But that doesn't mean Croft wasn't designed to be sexually objectified. We don't have to take the binary view that everything is either good or bad.

I have to admit I'm not entirely clear on the line where physical attractiveness becomes objectification. I find the new Lara better-looking than the original one (not only because of polygon count). Does this mean that I "objectify" her more?

EDIT: maybe to phrase this a little less clumsily - if you design a character to be attractive, aren't you implicitly making them a sexual object?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 13 Feb 2021, 08:54
^I think that the goal is to have the audience (reader,player etc) form attachments to the lead/other. This isn't something which can only (or even best) be done through sexuality, but due to laziness this is the norm.
There are a tonne of other ways to feel invested in what is going on, but we are talking about media, which most of the time are into using the simplest things either out of time/money concerns or lack of talent.

(of course there are times when sexuality is a main theme of the work anyway - don't know about the new Lara Croft games; the old ones certainly used that angle, indirectly at first, then rather directly with box art. But I never played any LC game, so can't comment about the story or gameplay itself)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 13 Feb 2021, 15:09
I totally agree. I speak English with a heavy accent and that should be fine. Native Anglophones should be more tolerant with people speaking with an accent. The fact that a character speak with an accent means they can speak several languages so they are not intellectually inferior. A "non-white" should not have to be a perfect Anglophone to be seen as successfu - neither should a "white" from a non english speaking country.

I think it's perverse that a Bechdel-style test should require actors to speak "unaccented English" because there's no such thing. And it wrongly centres a particular accent (almost certainly an accent associated with white, middle-class speakers) as neutral. One of the things I try to appreciate about conversations on this forum is that I'm often speaking with people who are writing in English as a second language, which is enormously impressive given how bad we English speakers are with foreign languages.

It's true, of course, that southern Europeans (and/or Catholics) have faced discrimination in Northern Europe and the US. But it's also worth acknowledging that social hierarchies have gradients. In Jim Crow era America, Italian Americans could face overt discrimination, but still benefit from a status that excluded African Americans.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 13 Feb 2021, 15:48
That's kind of funny. It seems that, like most icons, Lara is many things depending on who you ask. She's either a sex icon driving women away from games with her polygonal titties and short shorts, while male gamers drool over her, or she's a strong, inspiring female protagonist.
The fact that you think you can boil her down to those stereotypes so easily just goes to show how little you understand.
Oh, come on. The guy makes a fair point that Lara Croft has been viewed both ways. Don't go "how little you understand" because of his opinions in another thread. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that Lara Croft at first was criticized for being eye candy for male players, but then it turned out that the games attracted more female players, presumably because they liked being able to play as a woman. And the games were good, so the boys didn't mind either. Anyway, in later years, the breast proportions seem to be scaled down without anyone thinking that's a bad move.
My reply was based on what he'd previously written in this thread. And while I can agree that there is a point to be had about Lara Croft being a divisive character, I felt on edge because the way the reply was said felt like Wham was trying to pull a "gotcha" with his wording, and I felt that he didn't understood was I was trying to say.
On topic, Blondbraid isn't the first woman I've met who absolutely loved Lara Croft. But that doesn't mean Croft wasn't designed to be sexually objectified. We don't have to take the binary view that everything is either good or bad.

I have to admit I'm not entirely clear on the line where physical attractiveness becomes objectification. I find the new Lara better-looking than the original one (not only because of polygon count). Does this mean that I "objectify" her more?
Everyone has preferences, but that in itself doesn't objectify the character more, rather, objectification is about distilling someone down to only the things you find attractive to you to the point you can't see them as a full human being anymore.
^I think that the goal is to have the audience (reader,player etc) form attachments to the lead/other. This isn't something which can only (or even best) be done through sexuality, but due to laziness this is the norm.
There are a tonne of other ways to feel invested in what is going on, but we are talking about media, which most of the time are into using the simplest things either out of time/money concerns or lack of talent.

(of course there are times when sexuality is a main theme of the work anyway - don't know about the new Lara Croft games; the old ones certainly used that angle, indirectly at first, then rather directly with box art. But I never played any LC game, so can't comment about the story or gameplay itself)
That's a good point, tough I will add that trying to create an attachment and identification to the character through sexuality as the main line is near impossible due to what I mentioned on objectification.

As for the pre-reboot Tomb Raider Games however, as someone who've played them all, I don't think Lara ever was particularly heavily sexualized in the actual games beyond some revealing outfits and Barbie body proportions, she was mostly presented as an aloof badass focused on finding adventure for the sake of it, rather, it was the marketing and promotional materials surroundig the game that put her in pin-up shoots and played on her sex appeal. Personally, I was never too bothered by Lara's clothes because at the time, the early 2000s, most other video game heroines wore even more egregious things, like the chainmail bikinis im most fantasy games felt far more egregious to me than shorts and tank-top, especially considering I myself has worn that when touristing in warm countries (I even had to take off my jacket when on top of the alps because all the climbing made me warm, so it's hard for me to fault Lara for going with a tank top in the Andes).
Here's a link (https://www.tombraiderchronicles.com/underworld/demo.html) to the Tomb Raider: Underworld demo so you can play and judge for yourself.

Meanwhile, while I can appreciate that the reboot wanted to give Lara a more realistic design, I don't consider it a feminist victory when the developers also decided Lara had to be constantly crying and having a ton of daddy issues in order to be a "realistic" female character, and instead of marketing presenting her as a pin-up, there was marketing presenting her as a vulnerable girlfriend that the player should want to protect from evil would-be rapists (https://kotaku.com/youll-want-to-protect-the-new-less-curvy-lara-croft-5917400).

I've already written a ton about how I hated the reboot in other forums, but long story short, I've been seeing a pattern of when several insecure male publishers want to cash in on the "girlpower" market, but still reassure immature boys in the audience that their female hero won't threaten them, they usually go down either of two different routes to do so;

1. Present their female hero as an unquestionable badass, but give her a ridiculously sexualized appearance to show that "it's ok, she's just a make-believe fantasy figure and we'll still pander to boys".

2. Give her a serious and somewhat realistic appearance, but give her some stereotypical feminine trauma, like molestation or daddy issues, severe enough to make her have a hysterical breakdown
whenever the story feels like it and she needs a man to bail her out, as if to say "don't worry, she might pretend to be a badass, but she's secretly super vulnerable to dudes beneath that".

And so the reboot basically solved the problem of people thinking Lara was too far into category 1 by moving her into category 2 instead, and so, instead of being a powerful woman capable of fighting a T-rex on her own,
the reboot games presented Lara as an insecure teenager, who only learns to fight when a super evil Russian stereotype tries to molest and strangle her simultaneously, cries about it, and continuously have hysterical breakdowns and
need male mentor figures to take care of her for the rest of the following reboot games, and instead of raiding tombs because she wants to, she keeps moping about how her daddy issues force her to do it,
or a supernatural power threatens to kill her if she stops, effectively removing her agency as a character. And that's not even going into the gore and torture-porn aspect of all the gruesome death and torture scenes in the reboot.  :-X
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 13 Feb 2021, 15:58
Well, damn.
I became a fantasy maniac in the 90-ies when the post-soviet market became fully open for western media, have read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi novels, predominantly from mid-XX century USA. Then around late 90-ies got so dissatisfied with the whole genre that stopped reading it completely for the next 15 or so years (even missed now super popular things like "Witcher" and "Song of Ice and Fire").
The reason was that they were sooo same - in everything - from protagonist type to their relationships, to plot twists, to the fantasy world inhabitants.

This may sound silly, but around early 2000 I was pondering over writing my our RPG games, and set a rule for myself that if I ever do one, in my games there will be more different characters and more different races. Heck, in my program I even did not hardcode "biological sex types" but made a customizable list of sexes per species lol. And that was long before learning about all the contemporary social discussions (Internet was not much a thing for me until mid-2000ies).

Sorry if this is not directly relevant to the discussion, I just had to say this, because that's what also was bugging me all those years :).
I agree, and I think it's a huge problem when nearly all modern fantasy either fall in the category of "Tolkien derivative" or "Tolkien derivative, but with tons of boobs and gore added into the mix", and I say this as somebody who love LoTR.

It's not only that so many fantasy authors has copied Tolkien, but that they nearly always copy the least good parts of his work, such as an almost all-white cast, tons of men with swords, long lists of made-up names to remember, and the evil armies being full of unfortunate racial stereotypes. Meanwhile, you rarely see the best sides of his work drawn on, such as the great focus on empathy and loyalty, positive masculine role models, the fact that the few women who were in LoTR were really well-written and none of them objectified, and overall all the warfare and battles being balanced by also including many scenes of healing and rebuilding.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 13 Feb 2021, 16:05
Imo Tolkien already was rather a step down from the important fantasy writers of his time - for example Lord Dunsany or Arthur Machen. Even Goethe (and other great authors) had written fantasy in the past.
After Tolkien's rise... it would seem he spawned thousands of copycats, who (as usually happens) are worse than him anyway. But in my view he also damaged a part of the fantasy genre, despite making fantasy massively more popular and read.

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 13 Feb 2021, 16:25
Everyone has preferences, but that in itself doesn't objectify the character more, rather, objectification is about distilling someone down to only the things you find attractive to you to the point you can't see them as a full human being anymore.
You have to remember, players doing this regardless MIGHT be a thing, but the more important and problematic aspect is when the author intends for that to be done.
I remember someone did a Batman and Catwoman swap in one of the Arkham games, but this is the best I can still find. Still, it makes it INCREDIBLY obvious what the developer's intent was, in an incredibly hilarious way. There could be an argument made that Catwoman's character is one where she makes use of her sexuality as a weapon, but whether or not that is true, it's DEFINITELY true  that the game devs wanted to provide a "treat" to certain male players:

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 13 Feb 2021, 18:11


2. Give her a serious and somewhat realistic appearance, but give her some stereotypical feminine trauma, like molestation or daddy issues, severe enough to make her have a hysterical breakdown
whenever the story feels like it and she needs a man to bail her out, as if to say "don't worry, she might pretend to be a badass, but she's secretly super vulnerable to dudes beneath that".

For what I remember a similar situation is also in Disney's Mulan.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 13 Feb 2021, 18:19


2. Give her a serious and somewhat realistic appearance, but give her some stereotypical feminine trauma, like molestation or daddy issues, severe enough to make her have a hysterical breakdown
whenever the story feels like it and she needs a man to bail her out, as if to say "don't worry, she might pretend to be a badass, but she's secretly super vulnerable to dudes beneath that".

For what I remember a similar situation is also in Disney's Mulan.

_
I have no recollection of Mulan having a hysterical emotional breakdown, especially not in an important situation when she needed to focus. She made mistakes and needed help sometimes, sure, but not in situations where a man wouldn't.
Everyone has preferences, but that in itself doesn't objectify the character more, rather, objectification is about distilling someone down to only the things you find attractive to you to the point you can't see them as a full human being anymore.
You have to remember, players doing this regardless MIGHT be a thing, but the more important and problematic aspect is when the author intends for that to be done.
I remember someone did a Batman and Catwoman swap in one of the Arkham games, but this is the best I can still find. Still, it makes it INCREDIBLY obvious what the developer's intent was, in an incredibly hilarious way. There could be an argument made that Catwoman's character is one where she makes use of her sexuality as a weapon, but whether or not that is true, it's DEFINITELY true  that the game devs wanted to provide a "treat" to certain male players:
Hilarious video, but you're definitely right about media creators being the bigger fish here.

As for Catwoman in the Arkham games, I couldn't agree more, and Arkham Knight, which the video was from, was actually toned down compared to the previous game, Arkham city. I liked the idea of playing as Catwoman, but I really couldn't stand the way she had to strike a sexy pose in every. Single. Frame. of her animations. She ran jiggling her boobs and butt, fought showing off her boobs and butt, she even laid in a sexy pose while being unconscious from an explosion.

You could argue that a big part of her character is her sexual tension with Batman, but compare to Michelle Pfieffer's magnificent portrayal from Batman Returns, where she is wearing tight latex, but she's still presented as a strong character with her own motivations in her own right, and are allowed to focus on other things than exclusively saying innuendos and making sexy poses:

The moment when she says "I would love to live with you in your castle forever, just like a fairytale... ...I just couldn't live with myself, so don't pretend this is a happy ending" still gives me chills.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 13 Feb 2021, 18:37
Everyone has preferences, but that in itself doesn't objectify the character more, rather, objectification is about distilling someone down to only the things you find attractive to you to the point you can't see them as a full human being anymore.
You have to remember, players doing this regardless MIGHT be a thing, but the more important and problematic aspect is when the author intends for that to be done.
I remember someone did a Batman and Catwoman swap in one of the Arkham games, but this is the best I can still find. Still, it makes it INCREDIBLY obvious what the developer's intent was, in an incredibly hilarious way. There could be an argument made that Catwoman's character is one where she makes use of her sexuality as a weapon, but whether or not that is true, it's DEFINITELY true  that the game devs wanted to provide a "treat" to certain male players:

I added an edit to my post, but it was probably too late. I was trying to point out that people don't seem to judge a character being a "treat" as bad on principle (as evidenced by the Jane Jensen interview some time back) - they just don't want the sexualization to be too blatant, and the line is sometimes not very clear. If Lara Croft is a badass hero, is it "objectification" that she is also sexy? Isn't that the intention with most action heroes anyway? How much would you need to change her design to make her acceptable?

The Batman/Catwoman video is funny, but mostly because men and women have different body language, so it looks silly when you swap the models. I can easily imagine a plausible flirty batman/restrained catwoman scene - you'd need to change a few things (starting with the characters' personalities of course), but not that much. Just like with the previous nurse gender swap that you posted, by the way - your version is funny and would look silly in a game, but I can easily imagine my Clooney version in a generic rom-com.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 13 Feb 2021, 20:41
The Batman/Catwoman video is funny, but mostly because men and women have different body language, so it looks silly when you swap the models.

There are plenty of women who walk the way catwoman walks in that video, and I've honestly never seen anyone walk the way batman walks in the clip. It's extremely exaggerated, highly sexualised, and by no means a reflection of the way men and women walk.

There's a difference between being sexy/sexual on the one hand and sexualised/objectified on the other. An obvious example would be the way players mod games to make Lara Croft and other female characters naked, or more sexually appealing to them. I'm sure we're all aware of jokes about female characters' skimpy armour. These are aesthetic choices that make no sense if you treat the character as an individual.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 13 Feb 2021, 21:20
There are plenty of women who walk the way catwoman walks in that video, and I've literally never seen anyone walk the way batman walks in the clip. It's extremely exaggerated, highly sexualised, and by no means a reflection of the way men and women walk.

I didn't mean to say that batman's body language is true-to-life (of course not), but that it's a theatrical exaggeration of typically female sexual displays and that's what makes the clip look silly.  Have you seen an actress on stage walk the way batman walks in that clip when asked to be "flirty" and "seductive"? I certainly have. Now can you imagine a male actor on stage being "flirty" and "seductive" in similarly exaggerated fashion? Some strutting, chest-puffing, swagger, sideway-glancing, eyebrow-raising... put that onto batman's model and it's still theatrical, but not so funny anymore. Put it onto catwoman's, and you've got the joke in reverse.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 13 Feb 2021, 21:26
Everyone has preferences, but that in itself doesn't objectify the character more, rather, objectification is about distilling someone down to only the things you find attractive to you to the point you can't see them as a full human being anymore.
You have to remember, players doing this regardless MIGHT be a thing, but the more important and problematic aspect is when the author intends for that to be done.
I remember someone did a Batman and Catwoman swap in one of the Arkham games, but this is the best I can still find. Still, it makes it INCREDIBLY obvious what the developer's intent was, in an incredibly hilarious way. There could be an argument made that Catwoman's character is one where she makes use of her sexuality as a weapon, but whether or not that is true, it's DEFINITELY true  that the game devs wanted to provide a "treat" to certain male players:

I added an edit to my post, but it was probably too late. I was trying to point out that people don't seem to judge a character being a "treat" as bad on principle (as evidenced by the Jane Jensen interview some time back) - they just don't want the sexualization to be too blatant, and the line is sometimes not very clear. If Lara Croft is a badass hero, is it "objectification" that she is also sexy? Isn't that the intention with most action heroes anyway? How much would you need to change her design to make her acceptable?

The Batman/Catwoman video is funny, but mostly because men and women have different body language, so it looks silly when you swap the models. I can easily imagine a plausible flirty batman/restrained catwoman scene - you'd need to change a few things (starting with the characters' personalities of course), but not that much. Just like with the previous nurse gender swap that you posted, by the way - your version is funny and would look silly in a game, but I can easily imagine my Clooney version in a generic rom-com.
I'm not sure if you understand what I've been trying to say, but it's not designing characters to be attractive in and on itself that's the problem, it's designing characters that are so sexualized they become ridiculous, as well as having characters who only exist to be pretty that's the problem.

I get the impression that you want some objective measure on how to tell if a character is objectified or not, like you could just measure the length of their skirt or something, but objectification isn't just about how a character look, but how they look in the context of their story and whether their attractiveness is just that, a character looking attractive, or if the developers specifically present the character in a scenario meant to make the audience pause and drool. For example, I don't think Lara's original look with the shorts and tank top were too sexualized or objectifying in the context of a woman travelling in a hot climate in her leisure time, and plenty of real women have worn shorts to keep cool in that situation, but I was annoyed with how the JRPG Valkyria Chronicles featured all male soldiers in full combat uniforms, but the female officers had miniskirts with their uniforms instead, because they are meant to be serious soldiers and wearing uniforms that were issued to them. Even if the female Cast of Valkyria Chronicles were otherwise presented as full and nuanced characters, it was pretty blatant that the bare thighs were only on display to pander to guys whenever the female characters were combat-crawling.
(https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/6e40e15e-0001-0004-0000-000001062164_w1200_r1_fpx62.27_fpy46.98.jpg)Lara Croft
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/68/b6/69/68b669c6a0a94e881fd3001f75ce50df.jpg)Sergeant Alicia Melchiott from Valkyria Chronicles

 I hope this example help explain why it's not just about the amount of skin shown, but how it's done and what's the the context.
The Batman/Catwoman video is funny, but mostly because men and women have different body language, so it looks silly when you swap the models.

There are plenty of women who walk the way catwoman walks in that video, and I've honestly never seen anyone walk the way batman walks in the clip. It's extremely exaggerated, highly sexualised, and by no means a reflection of the way men and women walk.

There's a difference between being sexy/sexual on the one hand and sexualised/objectified on the other. An obvious example would be the way players mod games to make Lara Croft and other female characters naked, or more sexually appealing to them. I'm sure we're all aware of jokes about female characters' skimpy armour. These are aesthetic choices that make no sense if you treat the character as an individual.
I thought Ali explained this pretty well, and Catwoman's moves are still exaggerated in a way no real woman acts.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 13 Feb 2021, 21:53
^Japan :)

I personally don't find guns to be sexual in the slightest, and that image of the strangely smiling gunner-girl seems bizarre to me :D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 13 Feb 2021, 21:54
it's not designing characters to be attractive in and on itself that's the problem, it's designing characters that are so sexualized they become ridiculous, as well as having characters who only exist to be pretty that's the problem.

These are aesthetic choices that make no sense if you treat the character as an individual.

Yes, I think it's clear, I was probably getting too technical/abstract about it. The thing is, Lara Croft seems to be right on the line between what you describe as sexy and sexualised, both with the outfit and exaggerated anatomy. Which might have been what led me down this line of thinking.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 13 Feb 2021, 22:27
^Japan :)

I personally don't find guns to be sexual in the slightest, and that image of the strangely smiling gunner-girl seems bizarre to me :D
I think that kind of imagery is due to to combining two popular things, action and coll fight-scenes with typical anime girls.
it's not designing characters to be attractive in and on itself that's the problem, it's designing characters that are so sexualized they become ridiculous, as well as having characters who only exist to be pretty that's the problem.

These are aesthetic choices that make no sense if you treat the character as an individual.

Yes, I think it's clear, I was probably getting too technical/abstract about it. The thing is, Lara Croft seems to be right on the line between what you describe as sexy and sexualised, both with the outfit and exaggerated anatomy. Which might have been what led me down this line of thinking.
Yeah, I used the image of Lara from Tomb Raider: Anniversary as my go-to example, because I'm most familiar with the ps2 era Tomb Raider games, but it's true that her looks have varied and I agree some of her iterations crosses the line for me too, and I definitively would describe a lot of the early marketing as sleazy, I supposed I should have posted a visual example earlier of her typical game look I was referring to earlier, but for everyone else, here's a lineup of her different in-game looks;
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8f/b6/51/8fb65122be3045d5797d193553ebc868.jpg)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 14 Feb 2021, 05:42
I added an edit to my post, but it was probably too late. I was trying to point out that people don't seem to judge a character being a "treat" as bad on principle (as evidenced by the Jane Jensen interview some time back) - they just don't want the sexualization to be too blatant, and the line is sometimes not very clear. If Lara Croft is a badass hero, is it "objectification" that she is also sexy? Isn't that the intention with most action heroes anyway? How much would you need to change her design to make her acceptable?

The Batman/Catwoman video is funny, but mostly because men and women have different body language, so it looks silly when you swap the models. I can easily imagine a plausible flirty batman/restrained catwoman scene - you'd need to change a few things (starting with the characters' personalities of course), but not that much. Just like with the previous nurse gender swap that you posted, by the way - your version is funny and would look silly in a game, but I can easily imagine my Clooney version in a generic rom-com.
As I said, I don't think it is simply down to "This character looks sexy to me, bad, this character doesn't, ok. Or "The level of sexiness in this character has crossed the vague line!". While looking for the Batman clip earlier, I first came across one of Anita Sarkeesian's old Tropes vs Women videos that illustrates this pretty well:

Since the examples being given here are relating to Lara Croft, it's convenient that she's the subject of much of the video. One could agree that using her sexuality as a weapon is NOT a defining trait of Lara Croft, so when the camera angles and character model and poses and animation re-inforce objectification, it's all the more obvious. I can't keep count of the number of times online I've read someone say the equivalent of "hey, at least I get a good view of her backside throughout the game" regarding female-led 3rd person games. It's VERY hard to find an equivalent for male character models.
Here is some gameplay footage from one of the newer Tomb Raiders (https://youtu.be/8gHea-oMh6k?t=720)
Here is some (equivalent? I guess Rico is confident in his body and full of bravado and has flirted with women in the games) gameplay footage from Just Cause 3 (https://youtu.be/xmEOGU_6eyc?t=90)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 14 Feb 2021, 09:10
Oh Gods, we've fallen to the Anita Sarkeesian level of nonsense! Abort! ABORT!

As for how women need to dress in videogames to appease everyone, there isn't a solution to be had. If you have any sliver of bare skin visible, some tier of feminist will complain it's titillating for men and thus wrong, and if you cover women up another tier of feminist will complain we are hiding women from sight and thus nullifying their presence.

As for guys, aside from that loud and obnoxious "muh hobby muscht be kept pure of the cootiesch" -crowd, they are usually just happy to have female characters around.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 09:30
I mean, sure, people (if they have some talent) can think of a story and attract attention. It takes time. Presenting a hot girl (or a hot guy, for females) takes no time, and you don't need to create or even second-guess the ability to focus on such... I think it's about being a hack, not as much about being sexist.
At least in literature it is not as common, because it's not really a visual genre (although, as far as I know, women actually are into books with such descriptions; men are far more visual-based for a book to have this effect: an anecdote, a female friend of mine has read thousands of serious books, but from time to time reads love stories for this effect) - but in movies or games... :)

(also, worth noting that if your buyers are primarily people who just reached puberty, you really can't market the same product that you would to adults)

In movies, particularly, you almost never see average-looking people in lead roles (unless it is a very cerebral movie).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 14 Feb 2021, 09:38
Oh Gods, we've fallen to the Anita Sarkeesian level of nonsense! Abort! ABORT!

As for how women need to dress in videogames to appease everyone, there isn't a solution to be had. If you have any sliver of bare skin visible, some tier of feminist will complain it's titillating for men and thus wrong, and if you cover women up another tier of feminist will complain we are hiding women from sight and thus nullifying their presence.

As for guys, aside from that loud and obnoxious "muh hobby muscht be kept pure of the cootiesch" -crowd, they are usually just happy to have female characters around.
Did you expect her not to come up in a discussion about sexual discrimination in video games?
And I repeat (for the 3rd time?) it isn't about amount of skin visible in the game. It is about how the game authors seek to portray the character. Take the two videos I shared. I haven't played Just Cause 3, but in Just Cause 2, I aspired to be Rico- I wanted to jump out of a jetplane, hookshot into an enemy on the ground at the last second (thus negating fall damage), pull down radio towers and explode statues. It was awesome. And that was absolutely the game developer's intent- they designed the game to elicit such feelings.

I DON'T have the sort of connection Blondbraid had with Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, but what little I played of the recent games (and even the ones a generation back), aside from very, very few and inbetween moments (swinging about, shooting a bow), I didn't want to be Lara Croft. She's a well defined character, but to me, it was mostly like that video I shared- curvy bum, curvy bum, look at how I highlight my curvy bum. Oh look, I've been speared with a wooden stake through the skull. So much do I suffer. In the games from the last generation she was portrayed as a sexualised for my titilation bad-ass, in the newer ones it is toned down (but still there), but they replaced it with "suffering" as a character trait.

Perhaps I'm being unfair because I didn't like the game (or the ones from the last generation, which at least had less "look at me suffer, oh, I got a stake through the skull"). An example that went the opposite way with a female lead that I'm kinda enjoying these days is Horizon: Zero Dawn. Third person game with a developed character that is not unattractive, but it isn't obsessively focused on her bum (or sexually objectifying her), lots of fun gameplay that DOES kinda make one aspire to be her.

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 09:44
I think that there was a recent game about being an e-girl on a Twitch-like platform...
Some men are really easy to manipulate  := I find it all a rather interesting phenomenon. But yes, literary it is not. A game should have as the epicenter a nice story, imo.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Cassiebsg on 14 Feb 2021, 09:50
Oh Gods, we've fallen to the Anita Sarkeesian level of nonsense! Abort! ABORT!

(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/CookedConcernedCoati-max-1mb.gif)

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 14 Feb 2021, 10:06
As I said, I don't think it is simply down to "This character looks sexy to me, bad, this character doesn't, ok. Or "The level of sexiness in this character has crossed the vague line!". While looking for the Batman clip earlier, I first came across one of Anita Sarkeesian's old Tropes vs Women videos that illustrates this pretty well:

I'm not disputing the overall point that female characters are often designed as eye-candy for men and that it can get distasteful and ridiculous. But I also repeat again that the sort of one-to-one comparisons between male and female characters that Sarkeesian makes in that video are highly demagogical. A big butt and swaying hips isn't a representation of a stereotypically sexy man, pronounced V-shape and swagger is. This (https://i.imgur.com/N9xJ7xy.png) isn't a fair gender-swap of this (http://www.retroyak.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kahi4p.jpg), this (https://i.ibb.co/t8RPRwf/clooney.png) is. This (https://gamasutra.com/db_area/images/blog/215473/jjhotchars_gk.jpg) is an actual example of a character designed as eye-candy for women (apparently (https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JaneJensen/20140414/215473/WRITING_HOT_MEN_FOR_GAMES_Yes_please.php)).

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 10:09
As I said, I don't think it is simply down to "This character looks sexy to me, bad, this character doesn't, ok. Or "The level of sexiness in this character has crossed the vague line!". While looking for the Batman clip earlier, I first came across one of Anita Sarkeesian's old Tropes vs Women videos that illustrates this pretty well:

I'm not disputing the overall point that female characters are often designed as eye-candy for men and that it can get distasteful and ridiculous. But I also repeat again that the sort of one-to-one comparisons between male and female characters that Sarkeesian makes in that video are highly demagogical. A big butt and swaying hips isn't a representation of a stereotypically sexy man, exaggerated V-shape and swagger is. This (https://i.imgur.com/N9xJ7xy.png) isn't a fair gender-swap of this (http://www.retroyak.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kahi4p.jpg), this (https://i.ibb.co/t8RPRwf/clooney.png) is. This (https://gamasutra.com/db_area/images/blog/215473/jjhotchars_gk.jpg) is an actual example of a character designed as eye-candy for women (apparently (https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JaneJensen/20140414/215473/WRITING_HOT_MEN_FOR_GAMES_Yes_please.php)).



So, Gabriel Knight (the remake of GN1) again :D

(https://gamasutra.com/db_area/images/blog/215473/jjhotchars_gk.jpg)

It is funny that he was voiced by Tim Curry. They didn't model him after Curry, though...

He does look good. Good looks sell, for better or worse.

Edit: From the GK creator's blog you linked:

"[...]WHY WRITE HOT GUYS?

Reason #1: Female gamers will love you for it.

There are, in fact, a large portion of women who play games.  According to the ESA, 45% of all gamers are female.  This varies greatly by genre, I’m sure.  But if women do tend to play the type of game you design for, then why not give them a male character they can salivate over?  Because…

Reason #2:  Male gamers are okay with it.

Really. I have never once had a male player tell me “I don’t like Gabriel Knight because he’s too sexy.”  What?  No.  It’s never happened.   And why would it?  After all, the player is role-playing that character.  Who doesn’t want to be good-looking, smart, and sexy?  What guy doesn’t want to be hot?  Do not fear the hotness."

I personally wouldn't say Gabriel is "smart". He tends to do dumb stuff, is a trash-book writer, his life consists of sex and little more (and then he starts fighting demons) :D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 14 Feb 2021, 10:28
I'm not disputing the overall point that female characters are often designed as eye-candy for men and that it can get distasteful and ridiculous. But I also repeat again that the sort of one-to-one comparisons between male and female characters that Sarkeesian makes in that video are highly demagogical. A big butt and swaying hips isn't a representation of a stereotypically sexy man, exaggerated V-shape and swagger is. This (https://i.imgur.com/N9xJ7xy.png) isn't a fair gender-swap of this (http://www.retroyak.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kahi4p.jpg), this (https://i.ibb.co/t8RPRwf/clooney.png) is. This (https://gamasutra.com/db_area/images/blog/215473/jjhotchars_gk.jpg) is an actual example of a character designed as eye-candy for women (apparently (https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JaneJensen/20140414/215473/WRITING_HOT_MEN_FOR_GAMES_Yes_please.php)).
I think it is more accurate to say that is the example you gave is an example of character designed as eye-candy for women that is also palatable to men. I'm certainly not an expert, or a woman, or anything other than mostly straight, so I can't speak to this with any great level of detail (hopefully someone better suited will pipe in), but the level of uncomfortableness a woman (and non-teenage men) might feel at overtly sexualised women such as the Prince of Persia character I posted earlier, imagine that, but gender-swapped. I'm having a hard time finding examples, because even searching "hot guy" and "sexy guy" on the net focuses more on what is so for gay men rather than women. The reason I used that specific nurse picture is because that's the best example of it I could find.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 14 Feb 2021, 11:29
I'm certainly not an expert, or a woman, or anything other than mostly straight, so I can't speak to this with any great level of detail (hopefully someone better suited will pipe in), but the level of uncomfortableness a woman (and non-teenage men) might feel at overtly sexualised women such as the Prince of Persia character I posted earlier, imagine that, but gender-swapped. I'm having a hard time finding examples, because even searching "hot guy" and "sexy guy" on the net focuses more on what is so for gay men rather than women. The reason I used that specific nurse picture is because that's the best example of it I could find.

Well, I was a lazy student, so I don't have any real academic credentials to throw around, but I do have a degree in human ethology and have been around some sexual preferences research, so I might have some vague idea :). Treating male and female sexual behavior as identical is bound to produce ridiculous conclusions. The fact that direct gender swaps lead you to gay porn tells you as much.

EDIT: I agree with this:

I think it is more accurate to say that is the example you gave is an example of character designed as eye-candy for women that is also palatable to men.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 11:47
Oh Gods, we've fallen to the Anita Sarkeesian level of nonsense! Abort! ABORT!

(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/CookedConcernedCoati-max-1mb.gif)


My exact reaction.
Oh Gods, we've fallen to the Anita Sarkeesian level of nonsense! Abort! ABORT!

As for how women need to dress in videogames to appease everyone, there isn't a solution to be had. If you have any sliver of bare skin visible, some tier of feminist will complain it's titillating for men and thus wrong, and if you cover women up another tier of feminist will complain we are hiding women from sight and thus nullifying their presence.

As for guys, aside from that loud and obnoxious "muh hobby muscht be kept pure of the cootiesch" -crowd, they are usually just happy to have female characters around.
That is a strawman so big the director of the Wickerman is asking for his film prop back.
Also, all your previous comments about how you have no qualms about more women in games and wanting to encourage female game devs ring pretty false when you have spent som much time defending gamergate as "not that bad"
and painting any female critique of the game industry or gamer behavior as hysterical caricatures. Everybody should watch this video before claiming this shit in gaming communities is harmless;

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 11:50
PewDiePie is as good an example as any, about media-driven success in gaming (related) stuff. You can't say he is talented or intelligent. But he looked good :)

In my view he was the worst of the famous youtube gamer-people.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 11:51
PewDiePie is as good an example as any, about media-driven success in gaming (related) stuff. You can't say he is talented or intelligent. But he looked good :)
This video is not about his looks, it's about what his behavior does. You should watch before commenting on it.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 11:53
PewDiePie is as good an example as any, about media-driven success in gaming (related) stuff. You can't say he is talented or intelligent. But he looked good :)
This video is not about his looks, it's about what his behavior does. You should watch before commenting on it.

Sorry, it's a matter of principle for me to not watch anything having to do with your famous countryman  (nod)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 12:02
PewDiePie is as good an example as any, about media-driven success in gaming (related) stuff. You can't say he is talented or intelligent. But he looked good :)
This video is not about his looks, it's about what his behavior does. You should watch before commenting on it.

Sorry, it's a matter of principle for me to not watch anything having to do with your famous countryman  (nod)
If you're not gonna watch it, I find it futile of you to comment on it. It's not a bunch of clips of him, the video is about analyzing what views he spreads and normalizes to his audience.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 12:04
I mean, sure, people (if they have some talent) can think of a story and attract attention. It takes time. Presenting a hot girl (or a hot guy, for females) takes no time, and you don't need to create or even second-guess the ability to focus on such... I think it's about being a hack, not as much about being sexist.
At least in literature it is not as common, because it's not really a visual genre (although, as far as I know, women actually are into books with such descriptions; men are far more visual-based for a book to have this effect: an anecdote, a female friend of mine has read thousands of serious books, but from time to time reads love stories for this effect) - but in movies or games... :)

(also, worth noting that if your buyers are primarily people who just reached puberty, you really can't market the same product that you would to adults)

In movies, particularly, you almost never see average-looking people in lead roles (unless it is a very cerebral movie).
I'm certainly not an expert, or a woman, or anything other than mostly straight, so I can't speak to this with any great level of detail (hopefully someone better suited will pipe in), but the level of uncomfortableness a woman (and non-teenage men) might feel at overtly sexualised women such as the Prince of Persia character I posted earlier, imagine that, but gender-swapped. I'm having a hard time finding examples, because even searching "hot guy" and "sexy guy" on the net focuses more on what is so for gay men rather than women. The reason I used that specific nurse picture is because that's the best example of it I could find.

Well, I was a lazy student, so I don't have any real academic credentials to throw around, but I do have a degree in human ethology and have been around some sexual preferences research, so I might have some vague idea :). Treating male and female sexual behavior as identical is bound to produce ridiculous conclusions. The fact that direct gender swaps lead you to gay porn tells you as much.

EDIT: I agree with this:

I think it is more accurate to say that is the example you gave is an example of character designed as eye-candy for women that is also palatable to men.
I think the idea that women are less visually stimulated than men is nonsense, the main reason there are more romantic books aimed towards women than movies and games is because female sexuality has been banned, punished and pathologized for centuries, meanwhile straight male sexuality has been celebrated and enshrined as God's Will withing marriage, and an all-powerful urge that must be sated with protitutes least men go insane when outside of marriage. So when when women started gaining more rights, including their right to their own sexuality in the 1960s, men had already used the film and printing technology to build an industry catering to pleasing men, and had the money to hire women to pose for photo shoots. Meanwhile, media pandering to women was mainly relegated to books, because books and writings are one of the few mediums available to people with little money or technical education, plus the very act of a woman asking a man to pose undressed for money is still considered impossibly obscene to the point of being unthinkable in most places, and hence why this divide was created.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 14 Feb 2021, 12:26
Today on: "Every opinion I don't like is a strawman."
It's like talking to a wall, and so I shall now cease for the time being.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 14 Feb 2021, 12:30
It's a sign of how infantile conversations around video games are that Sarkeesian's unsensational, entry-level feminist takes on the medium cause people to flip their lid. Feminists have been writing like this about media for decades, and society has not collapsed, but macho crybabies can't handle a woman making mild observations on YouTube.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 14 Feb 2021, 12:32
I think the idea that women are less visually stimulated than men is nonsense

Women certainly are visually stimulated, and the differences from men might be completely negligible if observed by some alien species (let alone used as justification for oppression of one gender by the other - I'm definitely not trying to do that). They may, however, be enough to make ridiculously exaggerated sexual features more appealing to one gender than to the other. I'm not going to get into the whole "biological vs cultural theory" argument with you, but I think this is a reasonable enough possibility to at least consider.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 12:40
Today on: "Every opinion I don't like is a strawman."
It's like talking to a wall, and so I shall now cease for the time being.
But it IS a strawman argument to claim that feminists need every female character to be covered head to toe and wear costumes pleasing everyone.
Virtually every single feminist and female game critic I know of would be fine with female characters wearing the same practical work clothes as the male characters,
or street clothes that look comfortable and something you can run in without a wardrobe malfunction. It really is that simple, but insecure dudes keep obfuscating this.
It's a sign of how infantile conversations around video games are that Sarkeesian's unsensational, entry-level feminist takes on the medium cause people to flip their lid. Feminists have been writing like this about media for decades, and society has not collapsed, but macho crybabies can't handle a woman making mild observations on YouTube.
Indeed, I don't think anyone claiming Sarkeesian is an insane fanatic has actually watched any of her videos.
If WHAM had, he'd noticed that I posted one in my reply to him (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58758.msg636631361#msg636631361) way before Babar posted the one with Lara Croft.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 12:56
I think the idea that women are less visually stimulated than men is nonsense

Women certainly are visually stimulated, and the differences from men might be completely negligible if observed by some alien species (let alone used as justification for oppression of one gender by the other - I'm definitely not trying to do that). They may, however, be enough to make ridiculously exaggerated sexual features more appealing to one gender than to the other. I'm not going to get into the whole "biological vs cultural theory" argument with you, but I think this is a reasonable enough possibility to at least consider.
I don't feel like getting back into an argument about evolutionary psychology either, but I will say it's safe to say that men and boys have received far more visual training in objectifying women than vice versa.

There are plenty of highly sexualized female characters in nearly all media, even stuff aimed at small kids (https://youtu.be/grVzHu-_LcU?t=90), whereas as a woman, nearly all I've seen aimed at other women in mainstream media has been prim and proper Disney princes,
followed by usually fully dressed men in romance book covers, and only occasionally a man being shirtless (but otherwise fully clothed), all of them still presented as full characters and not just empty eye candy,
and this cultural background is bound to have a huge effect on people's sexuality and how they show it.

I think this Naomi Wolf quote (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/417302-women-could-probably-be-trained-quite-easily-to-see-men) seems relevant.


As for women and gay porn, there is a pretty popular genre of man on man romance exclusively aimed at women (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaoi), so the idea that gender-swapped examples of objectifying images looking like gay porn doesn't necessarily mean women still won't find it attractive.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 13:56
This thread is going places :D

Anyway, I wasn't expressing my own view of how women react to romance books - I was going by what female friends say, who are into books in the first place.
I really doubt that women by and large are less into sexual matters or less into looks or more refined on average than men. The sad reality is that the large majority of both genders is rather not very refined* :)

*also, one can be refined and still be into looks.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 14:04
This thread is going places :D

Anyway, I wasn't expressing my own view of how women react to romance books - I was going by what female friends say, who are into books in the first place.
I really doubt that women by and large are less into sexual matters or less into looks or more refined on average than men. The sad reality is that the large majority of both genders is rather not very refined* :)

*also, one can be refined and still be into looks.
I was mainly replying to Honza, though as for your female friends, if they are really into books and reading, I'd say they're a rather biased source.  :P
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 14:10
This thread is going places :D

Anyway, I wasn't expressing my own view of how women react to romance books - I was going by what female friends say, who are into books in the first place.
I really doubt that women by and large are less into sexual matters or less into looks or more refined on average than men. The sad reality is that the large majority of both genders is rather not very refined* :)

*also, one can be refined and still be into looks.
I was mainly replying to Honza, though as for your female friends, if they are really into books and reading, I'd say they're a rather biased source.  :P

I agree, they are biased. And corona closed down their shop anyway, so it doesn't matter anymore  :-D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 14 Feb 2021, 14:43
On Lara Croft:

I am very fond of Ms Croft. She is, of course, very pretty, and the games does well to show it off. That said, I would consider it a 'bonus', perhaps. Even if she was more 'practically' dressed, I would have enjoyed our time together. I like the gameplay, and her character. Indeed, I disagree with Babar earlier; I DID want to be Ms Croft, and felt the part when I played.

Mind you, I have not played the latest games. For want of interest, I think. I may have gotten the wrong impression, but they were presented as 'Young Ms Croft trapped on an island with violent criminals, having an utterly miserable time', which is not what I want from Tomb Raider. I want exciting adventure! Tombs! Treasure! Pistol gymnastics! That I- well, Ms Croft-, is also pretty while on the job is a splendid addition.
Of course, I also get the sense that the world of Tomb Raider is slightly more glamorous than ours to accommodate for all this. If it were more real and practical, it would possibly kill the mood flat-out. Those splendid adventuring shorts are perfect in a world where there is no tetanus.

On Valkyria Chronicles:

The uniforms are stupid, but then the entire setting is. It is a fairy-tale featuring mechanised warfare. It strangely fits, in an odd way. I dislike it because it is not evenly spread. The chaps get to wear what passes for practical kit. It would have been fine as far as I am concerned if there were some muscles on display, thank you.
Of course, most characters hardly being a day older than 15 would have helped, too, but I think that is simply an anime-esque convention that disagrees with me.

I must say that the entire ambience of that game irritated me. I do not know why, it was as if it was on the edge of two levels of idioticness, which made it feel inconsistent and only brought forth the most stupid aspects of both. It was irksome. All that could have been all-right if the gameplay had been more along what I expected.
Rather reminds me of the Brothers in Arms games, now that I think of it, but far more anime than I can stand up to at once. Same strange mismatched mood, same shallow squad command functions, the two have more in common than one would think.
I was mostly irritated by the hair-dos, I confess. I really wished that I could march my stupid platoon off to the regimental barber and give them all a sensible hair-cut.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 15:08
While in games with good-looking male protagonists, you play as that "type" (Broken Sword is another example, although it tried to copy Gabriel Knight anyway), in games like Tomb Raider the protagonist also has to wear sexy clothes... I think it would be far more difficult for male players to play as Gabriel Knight if he was walking around shirtless or with much more skin showing  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 14 Feb 2021, 15:15
While in games with good-looking male protagonists, you play as that "type" (Broken Sword is another example, although it tried to copy Gabriel Knight anyway), in games like Tomb Raider the protagonist also has to wear sexy clothes... I think it would be far more difficult for male players to play as Gabriel Knight if he was walking around shirtless or with much more skin showing  (laugh)
Depends on the author's intention and what they wish to evoke. Conan the Barbarian would be a lot more palatable than Conan the Stud-muffin.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 15:17
While in games with good-looking male protagonists, you play as that "type" (Broken Sword is another example, although it tried to copy Gabriel Knight anyway), in games like Tomb Raider the protagonist also has to wear sexy clothes... I think it would be far more difficult for male players to play as Gabriel Knight if he was walking around shirtless or with much more skin showing  (laugh)
Depends on the author's intention and what they wish to evoke. Conan the Barbarian would be a lot more palatable than Conan the Stud-muffin.

True... But I personally never liked the He-Man type in the first place :D
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 15:52
While in games with good-looking male protagonists, you play as that "type" (Broken Sword is another example, although it tried to copy Gabriel Knight anyway), in games like Tomb Raider the protagonist also has to wear sexy clothes... I think it would be far more difficult for male players to play as Gabriel Knight if he was walking around shirtless or with much more skin showing  (laugh)
That's pretty much what happened with Mevius from Final Fantasy (https://www.usgamer.net/articles/mobius-mevius-final-fantasy-hero-too-sexy), they had to redesign him because male players complained that his character design made them uncomfortable.
While in games with good-looking male protagonists, you play as that "type" (Broken Sword is another example, although it tried to copy Gabriel Knight anyway), in games like Tomb Raider the protagonist also has to wear sexy clothes... I think it would be far more difficult for male players to play as Gabriel Knight if he was walking around shirtless or with much more skin showing  (laugh)
Depends on the author's intention and what they wish to evoke. Conan the Barbarian would be a lot more palatable than Conan the Stud-muffin.

True... But I personally never liked the He-Man type in the first place :D
At least male game protagonists get to have a bit more variety, Super Mario, Guybrush Threepwood, Ezio Auditore, Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4 excetera are all a pretty far cry from He-man. Meanwhile, I can't think of a single female game protagonist that isn't super slim and in her 20s or younger.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 15:56
^The Cat Lady is in her 40s, iirc (although there are a few flashbacks when she is in her 20s :) )

(granted, that isn't a game by a massive company, but I don't play those by now...)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 14 Feb 2021, 18:18
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8f/b6/51/8fb65122be3045d5797d193553ebc868.jpg)
Can I say that I find the "sex-appeal" of Lara Croft overrated? More: intentionally overrated? Real girls cosplayers could be sexy in that outfit, but a 3-D avatar just look functional to me.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 18:39
Can I say that I find the "sex-appeal" of Lara Croft overrated? More: intentionally overrated? Real girls cosplayers could be sexy in that outfit, but a 3-D avatar just look functional to me.

_
As I said, my experience with Lara was that the worst objectification was in the promo art surrounding the game, especially in the first three games, but as for the reboot making people take her seriously and not see Lara as sex symbol,
I came across more NSFW "fan" art on the Steam community page for the reboot games than I ever did for the pre-reboot ones.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 14 Feb 2021, 18:43

Well said, TheFrighter, I couldn't agree more. They are pixelated, drawn, computer graphics. Not to be confused with real life.

Did you see my post, a few hundred pages back, where I quoted what Alison Bechdel said about the test. It  makes interesting reading.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Feb 2021, 18:49
Back in the day, LC was probably the first mainstream sex-symbol in computer games :)
I mean, you can't use Larry Laffer as that - just look at the poor fellow.

The early LC games were also a bit of a novelty, since back then you didn't have large world games in 3d; only some shooters and Alone in the Dark (which was ridiculously more clunky than LC).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 19:02

Well said, TheFrighter, I couldn't agree more. They are pixelated, drawn, computer graphics. Not to be confused with real life.

Did you see my post, a few hundred pages back, where I quoted what Alison Bechdel said about the test. It  makes interesting reading.
No one old enough to play the games think Lara Croft is a real person, but fiction affects how we see the world. Just look what Black Beauty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Beauty#Reception) did for animal rights.
The early LC games were also a bit of a novelty, since back then you didn't have large world games in 3d; only some shooters and Alone in the Dark (which was ridiculously more clunky than LC).
Indeed, I think it's a shame that the pioneering the Tomb Raider series did for 3D platforming games is so often overlooked in discussions of game history.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 14 Feb 2021, 21:41
Yes, Blondbraid, Anna Sewell did bring the plight of horses to public attention and good on her for doing so. Fiction, therefore, can affect the way we see the world, but
certain individuals would still ill treat animals, because it is in their make up. I know that, like myself, you are an animal lover. If you remember in the Trumpmageddon
thread we were both horrified at the ill treatment of a manatee.

Games, to me, have always been just that. As I have said before, I play games such as Thief, Assassins Creed, Far Cry etc. for the pure enjoyment and never find
myself analyzing the characters or writing. It's a make believe world which, in my view, is far preferable to the real world.

You have strong beliefs on womens rights, and I admire your passion on the subject, but you can't  expect total agreement from everybody. As my Nan used to say:
'It wouldn't do for us all to be alike.'  It would be pretty boring if we were.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Cassiebsg on 14 Feb 2021, 22:02
It's not about being alike, it's about mutual respect.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 14 Feb 2021, 22:16
That's quite right, Cassiebsg. However, I don't seem to be getting any. Whatever I say is wrong.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 14 Feb 2021, 22:23
That's quite right, Cassiebsg. However, I don't seem to be getting any. Whatever I say is wrong.

It's not disrespectful to disagree with someone. It is disrespectful to repeatedly troll this conversation, try to shut it down and close off avenues of discussion as you have.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: BarbWire on 14 Feb 2021, 22:39
Ali, trolling is trying to start quarrels or upset people by posting inflammatory or off topic messages. I am not guilty of either of these.

I have simply tried to make light of heated exchanges that have taken place between members of the community.  It is not my fault
that nobody on here has a sense of humour.

I remember Darth saying, a while back, that he was concerned that new members may be put off of joining the site because of
the biterness towards certain people. I can certainly see where he was coming from.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 14 Feb 2021, 23:41
That's quite right, Cassiebsg. However, I don't seem to be getting any. Whatever I say is wrong.
You said yourself that not everyone will agree with everyone, and I've disagreed with some things you've said, but I've tried my best to voice this respectfully towards you.

If you wish to just play games without any critical thinking or discussion, feel free to do so, but for me, half the enjoyment have always been the analysis of the media I consume,
and I'm not just talking about seeing it through a feminist lens or something, but learning about what parts make a story entertaining and what makes it boring or frustrating,
not just because it interests me but because I think it helps me grow and learn as a creator myself.

I just don't understand why the very act of analyzing media vexes so many people, because if you don't want to partake in these discussions, you can simply avoid partaking in any
forums discussing these matters, and stay out of any review/critique related threads online in general.
I remember Darth saying, a while back, that he was concerned that new members may be put off of joining the site because of
the biterness towards certain people. I can certainly see where he was coming from.
As for putting members off the site, I'm not sure what I've said in response that would be worse than any of the other people I've argued against have posted.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 15 Feb 2021, 01:04
I have simply tried to make light of heated exchanges that have taken place between members of the community.  It is not my fault
that nobody on here has a sense of humour.

I don't want to set myself up as a comedy expert, but when you keep making the same joke ("You people shouldn't take this serious issue so seriously!") over and over again and people don't laugh - it might not be a great joke.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 10:32
I have simply tried to make light of heated exchanges that have taken place between members of the community.  It is not my fault
that nobody on here has a sense of humour.

I don't want to set myself up as a comedy expert, but when you keep making the same joke ("You people shouldn't take this serious issue so seriously!") over and over again and people don't laugh - it might not be a great joke.

(my own attempt at humor follows :D )

"Comedy is subjective, Murray Ali - isn't that what you people say?"

(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/2d/99/b9/2d99b9ef82ece94da55cc943a92f5ec5.jpg)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 15 Feb 2021, 10:36
I dunno, Ali. I've had a few good laughs here!  (laugh)

We're talking about entertainment products here, about things made to amuse and entertain and distract, not human rights or criminal justice or politics.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 15 Feb 2021, 11:13
What you seem to be saying is, "Well WE thought it was funny to diminish Blondbraid and other feminists' experience, and repeatedly derail a potentially interesting conversation about the gender politics of games."

Of course humour is subjective, but when your jokes target other people and only amuse you and your mates - you're a bully.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 15 Feb 2021, 11:36
I dunno, Ali. I've had a few good laughs here!  (laugh)

We're talking about entertainment products here, about things made to amuse and entertain and distract, not human rights or criminal justice or politics.
This whole discussion is about how entertainment affects our views on human rights, criminal justice and politics,
and if it didn't have this effect, there wouldn't be so many guys so ardently fighting to preserve the status quo.
What you seem to be saying is, "Well WE thought it was funny to diminish Blondbraid and other feminists' experience, and repeatedly derail a potentially interesting conversation about the gender politics of games."

Of course humour is subjective, but when your jokes target other people and only amuse you and your mates - you're a bully.
If I may use an allegory, let's just say that antelopes aren't exactly known for being amused by lions making jokes about having steak for dinner.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 15 Feb 2021, 11:47
This whole discussion is about how entertainment affects our views on human rights, criminal justice and politics,
and if it didn't have this effect, there wouldn't be so many guys so ardently fighting to preserve the status quo.

I've yet to see a single "guy" in this thread "ardently fighting to preserve the status quo". I have, however, seen plenty of instances of people being accused of doing that, while trying to do the opposite, so this well might just have been poisoned before the conversation even started.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 15 Feb 2021, 12:16
KyriakosCH has repeatedly given examples of female characters who he doesn't think are sexualised and male characters who he thinks are sexualised. The point he's making, I think, is that stereotyping and objectification are bad writing and affect both men and women. Deliberately or not, this rejects the reality the Bechdel test is based on - that male and female characters are not equal victims of stereotypical and sexist representation.

The Bechdel test is premised on the idea that political critique of media is valid. So when you insists that videogames are mere fripperies "made to amuse and entertain and distract", you reject that premise. That's something you're entitled to do, but it turns a conversation about the Bechdel test into a tiresome argument about the necessity of feminist critiques in general.

This is what seems to me to be a determination to defend the status quo - arguing either that the problem does not exist ("men are sexualised too!"), or that attempts to address the issue are themselves worse ("Oh noes! Anita Sarkeesian").
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 12:24
KyriakosCH has repeatedly given examples of female characters who he doesn't think are sexualised and male characters who he thinks are sexualised. The point he's making, I think, is that stereotyping and objectification are bad writing and affect both men and women. Deliberately or not, this rejects the reality the Bechdel test is based on - that male and female characters are not equal victims of stereotypical and sexist representation.

The Bechdel test is premised on the idea that political critique of media is valid. So when you insists that videogames are mere fripperies "made to amuse and entertain and distract", you reject that premise. That's something you're entitled to do, but it turns a conversation about the Bechdel test into a tiresome argument about the necessity of feminist critiques in general.

This is what seems to me to be a determination to defend the status quo - arguing either that the problem does not exist ("men are sexualised too!"), or that attempts to address the issue are themselves worse ("Oh noes! Anita Sarkeesian").

Hey, I don't recall ever saying that female characters aren't sexualized. I said that this seems to usually be due to bad/lazy writing. Lara Croft, for example, obviously was sexualized in the game's box art :)
I also don't care about sexualized male characters - I played Gabriel Knight 1 and 3. I never claimed that such (Gabriel) are sexualized to comparable degree to female ones. Are you actually reading my posts?  :=

I did mention some cases of characters in a massively popular media (anime) who are very obviously made sex objects, for lazy/marketable reasons, and said I can't take such anime seriously.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 15 Feb 2021, 12:26
KyriakosCH has repeatedly given examples of female characters who he doesn't think are sexualised and male characters who he thinks are sexualised. The point he's making, I think, is that stereotyping and objectification are bad writing and affect both men and women. Deliberately or not, this rejects the reality the Bechdel test is based on - that male and female characters are not equal victims of stereotypical and sexist representation.

The Bechdel test is premised on the idea that political critique of media is valid. So when you insists that videogames are mere fripperies "made to amuse and entertain and distract", you reject that premise. That's something you're entitled to do, but it turns a conversation about the Bechdel test into a tiresome argument about the necessity of feminist critiques in general.

This is what seems to me to be a determination to defend the status quo - arguing either that the problem does not exist ("men are sexualised too!"), or that attempts to address the issue are themselves worse ("Oh noes! Anita Sarkeesian").
My thoughts exactly.
I've tried as hard as I could to explain why I've criticized the comments I've quoted in this thread, and I don't know how to make it any clearer,
and it still feels like most answers I get either deny anything I call them out on or complain that I'm not polite enough when debunking their strawman arguments.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 12:29
Well, I am sure you agree that it isn't good to present another person's views as different than they are (as Ali did, I am sure without meaning to).
For the record: I am not in favor of sexualized females in games/media, and if a media has such it won't score points with me.

edit: and since you mentioned "strawman arguments" for the thousandth time, you should be aware that your own arguments don't come across as great either; it is just that some are more polite in conversation (because they are angels, no doubt)  (nod)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 15 Feb 2021, 12:42
This is what seems to me to be a determination to defend the status quo - arguing either that the problem does not exist ("men are sexualised too!"), or that attempts to address the issue are themselves worse ("Oh noes! Anita Sarkeesian").

"Men are sexualized too!" is a true statement, but only tangentially relevant to the topic at hand. This thread was about how women are represented in media, and how we might increase and improve the quality of that representation. The fact that there are other groups out there who the media could represent better feels kind of off-topic, which I'd think we can agree on.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 15 Feb 2021, 13:10
Well, I am sure you agree that it isn't good to present another person's views as different than they are (as Ali did, I am sure without meaning to).
For the record: I am not in favor of sexualized females in games/media, and if a media has such it won't score points with me.

edit: and since you mentioned "strawman arguments" for the thousandth time, you should be aware that your own arguments don't come across as great either; it is just that some are more polite in conversation (because they are angels, no doubt)  (nod)
If I mention strawman arguments a lot, that's because they keep showing up.

And even if you aren't in favour of sexualized women in media (and please don't call women "females", I know English isn't your first language, but calling women females makes it sound like you're talking about animals, which I don't think was the intention),
bringing up any random examples you can find on the few women in games that aren't too sexualized doesn't really solve or address the issue. It's like offering up a pack of band-aids to people discussing the horrible US healthcare,
and I think that's what Ali was arguing about.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 13:16
Well, I am sure you agree that it isn't good to present another person's views as different than they are (as Ali did, I am sure without meaning to).
For the record: I am not in favor of sexualized females in games/media, and if a media has such it won't score points with me.

edit: and since you mentioned "strawman arguments" for the thousandth time, you should be aware that your own arguments don't come across as great either; it is just that some are more polite in conversation (because they are angels, no doubt)  (nod)
If I mention strawman arguments a lot, that's because they keep showing up.

And even if you aren't in favour of sexualized women in media (and please don't call women "females", I know English isn't your first language, but calling women females makes it sound like you're talking about animals, which I don't think was the intention),
bringing up any random examples you can find on the few women in games that aren't too sexualized doesn't really solve or address the issue. It's like offering up a pack of band-aids to people discussing the horrible US healthcare,
and I think that's what Ali was arguing about.

I will stop calling women "females", because you project into that that it is somehow connoted as "animals", yet I think it's only fair that you stop using "strawman" because I due to equally respectable personal reasons find it to be bad posting :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 15 Feb 2021, 13:31
Hey, I don't recall ever saying that female characters aren't sexualized. I said that this seems to usually be due to bad/lazy writing. Lara Croft, for example, obviously was sexualized in the game's box art :)
I also don't care about sexualized male characters - I played Gabriel Knight 1 and 3. I never claimed that such (Gabriel) are sexualized to comparable degree to female ones. Are you actually reading my posts?  :=

In the spirit of actually reading what the other person posted - I said you gave examples of female characters who you felt weren't sexualised (Grace Nakimura, and the Munch painting). I didn't accuse you of saying that female characters - in general - were not sexualised.

As I've said several times by now, my objection was that you seemed to be presenting cherry-picked examples as some kind of counterpoint, rebuttal or gotcha. If that wasn't your intention, I sincerely don't understand what point you've been making. It's convenient to dismiss sexist writing as bad, but that obscures the fact that what you consider bad writing is popular and influential, and that lots of good writing reproduces sexist tropes.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 13:38
Hey, I don't recall ever saying that female characters aren't sexualized. I said that this seems to usually be due to bad/lazy writing. Lara Croft, for example, obviously was sexualized in the game's box art :)
I also don't care about sexualized male characters - I played Gabriel Knight 1 and 3. I never claimed that such (Gabriel) are sexualized to comparable degree to female ones. Are you actually reading my posts?  :=

In the spirit of actually reading what the other person posted - I said you gave examples of female characters who you felt weren't sexualised (Grace Nakimura, and the Munch painting). I didn't accuse you of saying that female characters - in general - were not sexualised.

As I've said several times by now, my objection was that you seemed to be presenting cherry-picked examples as some kind of counterpoint, rebuttal or gotcha. If that wasn't your intention, I sincerely don't understand what point you've been making. It's convenient to dismiss sexist writing as bad, but that obscures the fact that what you consider bad writing is popular and influential, and that lots of good writing reproduces sexist tropes.

Ok! :)
I never go for "gotcha" posts. We are all just discussing here, even if (as is to be expected, happens with all discussions) some are more invested in the subject than others.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 15 Feb 2021, 15:23
I will stop calling women "females", because you project into that that it is somehow connoted as "animals", yet I think it's only fair that you stop using "strawman" because I due to equally respectable personal reasons find it to be bad posting :)
When it comes to my objection of using "females" as stand-in for "women, I'm not the first or only one to make this complaint. If you've watched a nature documentary in English, you'd see that they always refer to female animals as females and male ones as males
to distinguish the fact that they're talking about animals and not human persons. Here's a list of reasons not to use the word "female" as a noun. (https://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/stop-calling-women-females) This isn't some random personal issue I made up on the spot.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 16:14
I will stop calling women "females", because you project into that that it is somehow connoted as "animals", yet I think it's only fair that you stop using "strawman" because I due to equally respectable personal reasons find it to be bad posting :)
When it comes to my objection of using "females" as stand-in for "women, I'm not the first or only one to make this complaint. If you've watched a nature documentary in English, you'd see that they always refer to female animals as females and male ones as males
to distinguish the fact that they're talking about animals and not human persons. Here's a list of reasons not to use the word "female" as a noun. (https://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/stop-calling-women-females) This isn't some random personal issue I made up on the spot.

Fair enough. I respect your woman point of view. Woman posters are entitled to ask as much, and I certainly wasn't trying to impose my syntactical learned behavior on matters of the woman sex.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 15 Feb 2021, 16:18
Fair enough. I respect your woman point of view.

Afaik, "woman" is a noun, not adjective. That probably would be "woman's point of view" at least.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 16:21
Fair enough. I respect your woman point of view.

Afaik, "woman" is a noun, not adjective. That probably would be "woman's point of view" at least.

I was told to use "woman" in place of [not to be named term]. Unless I was asked to do more work than that  for the privilege of posting here.
There's also the (albeit uninteresting) possibility I was making a point about the use of [taboo term] fitting in most sentences.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 15 Feb 2021, 16:25
KyriakosCH, you are becoming more obnoxious with each single post you make here.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: KyriakosCH on 15 Feb 2021, 16:27
KyriakosCH, you are becoming more obnoxious with each single post you make here.

Ok, I've had enough of this trash, bye.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 15 Feb 2021, 17:24
KyriakosCH, you are becoming more obnoxious with each single post you make here.

Ok, I've had enough of this trash, bye.
I don't get why you think I'm not allowing you to use the word "female" as a descriptor, using descriptions like female posters is fine, it's using female as a noun that's the problem, it's basic grammar.

It's like the difference between saying "a black person", and referring to all black people as "blacks". Why do you find this hard to understand?
It feels like I have to explain everything twice to you.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: LimpingFish on 16 Feb 2021, 02:40
Alright, we're drifting into individual user shaming, and away from discussing the original topic in a constructive manner.

Going forward, I would advise:


Okay? :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 17 Feb 2021, 17:45
When it comes to my objection of using "females" as stand-in for "women, I'm not the first or only one to make this complaint. If you've watched a nature documentary in English, you'd see that they always refer to female animals as females and male ones as males
to distinguish the fact that they're talking about animals and not human persons. Here's a list of reasons not to use the word "female" as a noun. (https://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/stop-calling-women-females) This isn't some random personal issue I made up on the spot.
Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard of this.
Let's look at that list...
The first is invalid, because English is a living language. For example, "figuratively" and "literally" mean different things, but they also mean the same thing as a result of English being a living language.
Upon reflection, the second one seems valid.
The third one is invalid. I don't think I've ever heard a group of women being called females, but I'm fairly sure I've heard a group of men being called males.
The fourth one sounds invalid to me. I've never heard "males" or "females" to imply inferiority or contempt. Sounds like a strawman argument.
The fifth one is definitely valid.  (nod)
The sixth one is also valid.

That all being said, I'll make sure to avoid using the word "females" to refer to women from now on. Not that I ever did in the first place.
Although personally this kind of reminds me of the time my dad got in trouble for using the word "yard" instead of "garden". I guess different words mean different things to different people.



I don't get why you think I'm not allowing you to use the word "female" as a descriptor, using descriptions like female posters is fine, it's using female as a noun that's the problem, it's basic grammar.

It's like the difference between saying "a black person", and referring to all black people as "blacks". Why do you find this hard to understand?
It feels like I have to explain everything twice to you.
In my experience it's more offensive to say "a black person" than to say "blacks".
And to add to that, I would personally find it offensive if someone used "male" as a descriptor for me, and used a description such as a "male poster".
Cultural difference perhaps?  ???

I hope nothing I've said offends you. I'm just trying to add to the conversation.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 17 Feb 2021, 20:47
And to add to that, I would personally find it offensive if someone used "male" as a descriptor for me, and used a description such as a "male poster".
Perhaps that example was clunky and poorly explained, but if you were to compare these two sentences;
"A male factory worker" and
"A male working in a factory",
which one sounds more grammatically correct and respectful to the person described?

I've seen a lot of people not knowing about this before, and many people don't think any of it when they use it,
but at the same time, I have definitively seen guys using the word "females" to refer to women in a derogatory manner,
and explicitly doing so to dehumanize women, whilst simultaneously referring to men as "men" unfalteringly, (and I've never
heard anyone speaking decent English casually referring to human men as "males" unless it was a strictly biological discussion where women were also referred to as "females")

and I think accepting "females" as a valid synonym for women, you can unintentionally normalize those attitudes, even if you don't mean anything bad by it yourself.

But even if you don't agree with my last point, would anyone here say I'm wrong if I say that you shouldn't use the word "female" for women in any situation where
it wouldn't be natural to use the word "male" instead of saying men?

I hope this clears things up.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 17 Feb 2021, 23:06
"Female" can definitely be used derogatory. But there will also be cases where the term seems more neutral, mainly where it can't easily be replaced with "woman". For instance "The magazine is aimed at 18–25-year-old females" or "The number of females competing in college sports has increased" would probably not be rude, because the females in question are both girls and women. These sentences would work equally fine with "males", which I believe should be the real test. (Examples from dictionary.cambridge.org) [/language nerd filter]
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 18 Feb 2021, 01:06
I think Blondbraid is was right to give KyriakosCH the benefit of the doubt over "females" (initially), because he's writing in a second language and these sensitivities are culturally and linguistically specific. It's not semantically or grammatically wrong to say "a female", but there's more to communication than being technically correct.

We're talking about using adjectives as nouns, which can be an issue because it reduces a person to a particular characteristic. "A blonde woman" seems more neutral than "a blonde," which carries greater cultural baggage.

In my experience it's more offensive to say "a black person" than to say "blacks".

I'm not sure how "a black person" would be offensive, but "a black" sounds extremely iffy to me. It seems reasonable to follow an adjective up with a noun like "person" to make it clear that you're talking about an individual with a particular quality - not someone who is defined by that quality.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Scavenger on 18 Feb 2021, 07:03
"Female" can definitely be used derogatory. But there will also be cases where the term seems more neutral, mainly where it can't easily be replaced with "woman". For instance "The magazine is aimed at 18–25-year-old females" or "The number of females competing in college sports has increased" would probably not be rude, because the females in question are both girls and women. These sentences would work equally fine with "males", which I believe should be the real test. (Examples from dictionary.cambridge.org) [/language nerd filter]

 "The magazine is aimed at women aged 18–25"
 "The number of female competitors in college sports has increased"

It's so easy not to noun someone, it's generally more respectful. Besides which, calling women "females" makes you 100% sound like a ferengi.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: heltenjon on 18 Feb 2021, 07:54
It's so easy not to noun someone, it's generally more respectful. Besides which, calling women "females" makes you 100% sound like a ferengi.
(laugh) (laugh) Oh, I agree. The examples are from the dictionary, not mine. In these cases, I would think the writer cuts the noun because it is implied. (Male/Female readers.)

Another thing is when it's okay to refer to someone as boy/man or girl/woman. In your example, "The magazine is aimed at women aged 18-25", this may hold up. But what if it was aged 15-20? In my native tongue, referring to grown women as "girls" is quite common, and in my opinion, often derogatory. But where should this line go? Norwegians would most often refer to themselves as girls/boys until they graduate from the school level below university (aged about 18-19). Are there huge cultural differences here?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 18 Feb 2021, 10:13
It's so easy not to noun someone, it's generally more respectful. Besides which, calling women "females" makes you 100% sound like a ferengi.
I couldn't have come up with a better example myself!

But what if it was aged 15-20? In my native tongue, referring to grown women as "girls" is quite common, and in my opinion, often derogatory. But where should this line go? Norwegians would most often refer to themselves as girls/boys until they graduate from the school level below university (aged about 18-19). Are there huge cultural differences here?
As a Swede, referring to women over 20 as girls would be considered weird and infantilizing in my native tongue, but I'm aware that native English speakers sometimes do that in English, considering it flattering to empathize the women's youth.
However, as a Swede who's learned most of my English vocabulary as a teen or older, I can't help but feel massively weirded out by some American phrases, like calling a loved one "baby" or a male partner "daddy" in a sexual context,
both of which would be impossible to say in Swedish without giving off massive pedophilia vibes.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Matti on 20 Feb 2021, 11:53
Well, I recently had an argument with someone who generally referred to women as "girls". He probably wouldn't call elderly women girls, but other than that it was just an expression of his misogyny.

I'm so sick of people saying "It's just fiction, not the real world" as if that fiction doesn't derive from the thoughts of a living person from the real world. As if the fiction exists in some other universe and doesn't affect people living here and now. As if men objectify women in games, but not in real life.

"This whole discussion is about how entertainment affects our views on human rights, criminal justice and politics" (Blondbraid). I would like to add that views on human rights, criminal justice and politics affects the entertainment. Also, sexism affects entertainment, massively. And, Kyriakos, it's not "bad writing" that reproduces sexist tropes, it's a sexist worldview that reproduces sexist tropes. I recently played The inner world (https://store.steampowered.com/app/251430/The_Inner_World/) and it's a mind-boggling example of sexist representation of female characters in videogames. The few female characters are either a mother, a love-interest or a slut, and the only time two of them are in the same scene, they start a cat fight  :-X >:( This game is an extreme example, but that bullshit derives from the developers view on women! And it's symptomatic that almost none of the reviewers complained about that.

I also tried to play Guard Duty (https://store.steampowered.com/app/872750/Guard_Duty/) but stopped after a few minutes. Judging from the trailer and screenshots I was already anticipating a game where the only female characters are a damsel in distress and a sexy woman in a bar. But when the main character (a pathetic topless dude) remembered his last night making out with an "ugly" woman I quit. That was enough.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Feb 2021, 16:22
Well spoken!
I think everyone ought to see this discussion video on Red Dawn, and the fact that entertainment will reflect the creator's politics, but at 9:15 in the video, the narrator also
discusses how fiction isn't real, and exactly because it isn't real, but a creation of the author, we ought to look critically on why they are telling a story in this way.


As for The inner world and Guard Duty, I only saw the screenshots and thought they looked nice but never got around to playing the games because there have been so many other games I'd rather play, but this sounds disappointing yet not surprising,
and it's better still than the atrocious open-world game trope where you have a mission set in a brothel and are encouraged to ogle (or sometimes even buy) the women there, or the countless games where the only female character is kidnapped/killed
for the male hero to avenge her, and I doubt this would be such prevalent tropes if it weren't for the fact that so many sexist men still see women as objects, in many cases you could literally replace the girl with a fancy sports car or other valuable possession
and nothing would change in the story, just look at how in the first John Wick movie, instead of the baddies killing his girlfriend, they kill his beagle, but otherwise the story basically plays out exactly as a ton of other stories of a man avenging his dead girlfriend.

I suppose I could link to the Sexy lamp test (https://fanlore.org/wiki/Sexy_Lamp_Test).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 20 Feb 2021, 17:22

As I said before, I think that the first game that could pass the test is Maniac Mansion.

x1 x2 x4 x8


_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Matti on 20 Feb 2021, 18:41
I think everyone ought to see this discussion video on Red Dawn, and the fact that entertainment will reflect the creator's politics, but at 9:15 in the video, the narrator also
discusses how fiction isn't real, and exactly because it isn't real, but a creation of the author, we ought to look critically on why they are telling a story in this way.

Thanks for the clip, it makes some good points.

As for The inner world and Guard Duty, I only saw the screenshots and thought they looked nice but never got around to playing the games because there have been so many other games I'd rather play, but this sounds disappointing yet not surprising

As for the Inner World, it really is a pity. Despite the sexism the game is rather charming, but that alone stopped me from even trying out the second part. Here's a bad review that illustrates the portrayal of women in the game:

Spoiler: ShowHide
"However, I cannot overcome the subconscious issues with this game: [spoilery]
- The main character Robert falls in love with the first woman he ever sees, of course, right at first sight.

- The main character Robert comments on a picture of the barmaid when she was young with: "What time does to women". The old barmaid has sagging breasts (there is no comment about the old men). Hello misogyny...

- The only time, two female characters (love interest Laura and toad) are on the screen at the same time, a "catfight" is created. Of course, two female characters cannot interact without hating each other [sarcasm].

- Only flirting with the toad leads to success, there is no other way. The flirting intensifies the catfight between Laura and toad because the toad "steals" the main character from Laura. What the ♥♥♥♥.

- The main character Robert does not manage one physical task. Self-talk of Robert: "Laura (Love interest) will laugh at me because I ask her for help". Laura then actually says: "Sure, we just don't talk about it". The toad then says "Well, I like it when men show weakness". Which does this say of the image of men in this universe?

- When the father of the Laura (love interest) is rescued and sees his daughter Laura with the main character Robert, the father becomes directly defensive and hostile: he has "always been afraid" that his daughter will meet a boy. Even though there isn't any declaration of love from Laura (Love interst) to the main character Robert so far. Robert could also be a stalker, but the father of course only recognizes one possible lover.

- In a flashback: an applicant only talks to king, even though the queen is sitting right next to the king. The queen only talks in private to the king. Which power does the queen have?

- In general, positions of power are only occupied by men. Main character, the villain, guards, king, mechanics, scientists, wind monks, black market sellers are all men. Women appear only as love interest, barmaid (also love interest), mother, wife (queen) or "nasty b**ch" (toad). All female characters are equipped with so-called feminising gender signifiers (lipstick, eyelashes). Otherwise, they have no other personality markers in their appearance, no characterising thing. Just lipstick and lashed. Wow.

- When Laura (Love interest) is petrified, main character Robert kisses her (no consent whatsoever). After she is saved, she first thanks Robert for the rescue, apologizes for always "teasing" him because she really likes him (That's not how this works what the ♥♥♥♥). She kisses him. Then finally she slaps him in the face "and that was for the kiss earlier, you didn't think I'd notice". Main char Robert lies on the floor, looks very happy and says "it was absolutely worth it". Yikes."
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 20 Feb 2021, 21:51
As for The inner world and Guard Duty, I only saw the screenshots and thought they looked nice but never got around to playing the games because there have been so many other games I'd rather play, but this sounds disappointing yet not surprising

As for the Inner World, it really is a pity. Despite the sexism the game is rather charming, but that alone stopped me from even trying out the second part. Here's a bad review that illustrates the portrayal of women in the game:

Spoiler: ShowHide
"However, I cannot overcome the subconscious issues with this game: [spoilery]
- The main character Robert falls in love with the first woman he ever sees, of course, right at first sight.

- The main character Robert comments on a picture of the barmaid when she was young with: "What time does to women". The old barmaid has sagging breasts (there is no comment about the old men). Hello misogyny...

- The only time, two female characters (love interest Laura and toad) are on the screen at the same time, a "catfight" is created. Of course, two female characters cannot interact without hating each other [sarcasm].

- Only flirting with the toad leads to success, there is no other way. The flirting intensifies the catfight between Laura and toad because the toad "steals" the main character from Laura. What the ♥♥♥♥.

- The main character Robert does not manage one physical task. Self-talk of Robert: "Laura (Love interest) will laugh at me because I ask her for help". Laura then actually says: "Sure, we just don't talk about it". The toad then says "Well, I like it when men show weakness". Which does this say of the image of men in this universe?

- When the father of the Laura (love interest) is rescued and sees his daughter Laura with the main character Robert, the father becomes directly defensive and hostile: he has "always been afraid" that his daughter will meet a boy. Even though there isn't any declaration of love from Laura (Love interst) to the main character Robert so far. Robert could also be a stalker, but the father of course only recognizes one possible lover.

- In a flashback: an applicant only talks to king, even though the queen is sitting right next to the king. The queen only talks in private to the king. Which power does the queen have?

- In general, positions of power are only occupied by men. Main character, the villain, guards, king, mechanics, scientists, wind monks, black market sellers are all men. Women appear only as love interest, barmaid (also love interest), mother, wife (queen) or "nasty b**ch" (toad). All female characters are equipped with so-called feminising gender signifiers (lipstick, eyelashes). Otherwise, they have no other personality markers in their appearance, no characterising thing. Just lipstick and lashed. Wow.

- When Laura (Love interest) is petrified, main character Robert kisses her (no consent whatsoever). After she is saved, she first thanks Robert for the rescue, apologizes for always "teasing" him because she really likes him (That's not how this works what the ♥♥♥♥). She kisses him. Then finally she slaps him in the face "and that was for the kiss earlier, you didn't think I'd notice". Main char Robert lies on the floor, looks very happy and says "it was absolutely worth it". Yikes."

Wow, most of it just sounds like your bad garden variety of bad sitcom stereotypes paired with bad romantic comedy stereotypes, but the fourth and the last points on the list really jumped out at me with how crude they were in their sexism.

I guess this is what happens when you don't have any women test-read your script before releasing it.
I think this paragraph (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13306276-gone-girl) should be required reading for every man trying to write a female love interest, this sentence in particular;

You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 26 Feb 2021, 13:19
I think this paragraph (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13306276-gone-girl) should be required reading for every man trying to write a female love interest, this sentence in particular;
Having read that paragraph, all I can say is that no guy wants a girl like that. Except those jocks who you always see playing the bully in 80s movies.  (laugh)
You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.
With a quote like that, I thought it was going to be about anime girls (I've heard similar things being said in lots of reviews for bad anime). Instead it's about "Cool Girls".  :-X
Which are obviously girls that only exist in the mind of a teenage frat boy. You know, the kind of guy everybody (and I do mean everybody) hates.  (roll)


As I said before, I think that the first game that could pass the test is Maniac Mansion.
I've thought about that since you said it the first time, and I honestly can't think of a moment in the game where two female characters speak to each other about something other than a man in Maniac Mansion.
There are four female characters in Maniac Mansion. Wendy, Razor, Edna, and Sandy.
There's no talk function, so Wendy and Razor can never talk to each other. (So that doesn't pass it.)
Edna will only talk to you when she captures you, where she then mentions that it's a good thing you're not a boy. (So that doesn't pass it either.)
And Razor will only talk to someone other than Dave, after you complete the game with Dave dead, where obviously she talks about dave. (So even that doesn't pass it.)
So seriously, where does Maniac Mansion pass the Bechdel test? Because I can't figure it out.  :-\
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 26 Feb 2021, 17:49

As I said before, I think that the first game that could pass the test is Maniac Mansion.
I've thought about that since you said it the first time, and I honestly can't think of a moment in the game where two female characters speak to each other about something other than a man in Maniac Mansion.
There are four female characters in Maniac Mansion. Wendy, Razor, Edna, and Sandy.
There's no talk function, so Wendy and Razor can never talk to each other. (So that doesn't pass it.)
Edna will only talk to you when she captures you, where she then mentions that it's a good thing you're not a boy. (So that doesn't pass it either.)
And Razor will only talk to someone other than Dave, after you complete the game with Dave dead, where obviously she talks about dave. (So even that doesn't pass it.)
So seriously, where does Maniac Mansion pass the Bechdel test? Because I can't figure it out.  :-\

Hm, considering all this you're right Danvzare. So even the old good MM don't fits.

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 26 Feb 2021, 17:57
Completely random, but I think that formally this game passes Bechdel  test in the very first minute, because there are two women talking about their life situation during introduction:
https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=45593.0

Yeah, the game title is... lol. I think it's a dark comedy, but I never played it through. It was a part of a Bake Sale (or similar event), and it is not in AGS database sadly, and I dont know where exactly to get it now :/.

Also, "The Cat Lady". And some of the "Blackwell" games where main character has a conversation with her aunt for instance.
But then again, it's kind of a random way to test games too, more suitable for statistics rather than anything imo.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 26 Feb 2021, 18:00
I think this paragraph (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13306276-gone-girl) should be required reading for every man trying to write a female love interest, this sentence in particular;
Having read that paragraph, all I can say is that no guy wants a girl like that. Except those jocks who you always see playing the bully in 80s movies.  (laugh)
You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.
With a quote like that, I thought it was going to be about anime girls (I've heard similar things being said in lots of reviews for bad anime). Instead it's about "Cool Girls".  :-X
Which are obviously girls that only exist in the mind of a teenage frat boy. You know, the kind of guy everybody (and I do mean everybody) hates.  (roll)
Oh, if only...
But for every awful jock, there are just as many guys who think they are so much better than those jocks, yet still think they deserve a girlfriend who will bend over backward to curl for them anyway, and the quote I cited mentions several other types too;
It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics.

It's not about one kind of guy, because awful and entitled guys can come from any background or have any interests, but looking back at this debate, and many similar debates I've seen, lots of men will have the gut reaction to blame
another group of guys they aren't part of, similar to how some people will claim that the only racists are stereotypical hilbillies. I'm not in the habit of plugging podcasts, but I think a prime example of this is in this episode from the loremen podcast (http://www.loremenpodcast.com/episode-10-s2), wherein 1800s London, a number of women on the streets were non-fatally stabbed by a man who'd run away afterward, nicknamed "the London monster" by the public. And during these events a group of guys, disappointed that this had made London women more nervous in public and making it harder for the guys to flirt with them, decided that the obvious solution was to form the "no monster club", and basically, the logic was that if any man belonged to the No Monster Club, he wasn't the London monster, and therefore, said man would automatically be a good and decent man women should trust. And the only thing needed to enter the No Monster Club was simply to say you were part of it (totally not open for abuse  (roll) ).

This is a very extreme example, but I think this really showcases how it feels to a lot of women when a lot of guys will be so quick to say "oh sure it's awful, but it's only those kind of guys who do it and I'm obviously and visibly not that kind of guy".
I once had the misfortune to work in a place where there were a diverse set of men working, Swedes and immigrants from various nations, guys of all ages and with varied interests and levels of education, and they were all laughing along at the same sexist and homophobic jokes. There is no "magic bullet" that will make you immune to being a jerk, all you can do is just to keep being on your best behavior and be ready to call others out on it if you want to avoid being one.

Sorry if I'm going off on a tangent here, but this is something I've been thinking of for a while and think more people ought to consider.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 26 Feb 2021, 18:11
Completely random, but I think that formally this game passes Bechdel  test in the very first minute, because there are two women talking about their life situation during introduction:
https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=45593.0

Yeah, the game title is... lol. I think it's a dark comedy, but I never played it through. It was a part of a Bake Sale (or similar event), and it is not in AGS database sadly, and I dont know where exactly to get it now :/.

Also, "The Cat Lady".
But then again, it's kind of a random way to test games too, more suitable for statistics rather than anything imo.
Yeah, the Bechdel test isn't a test on how feminist a story is or how good role models the characters are (also, where I'm from at least, "whore" is considered a severe slur, so well, not the greatest title...),
the original point was to showcase how few movies never featured women talking to one another, usually because the writer didn't care to write women as anything other than a love interest fawning over a guy,
but to prove how insufficient the Bechdel test is on its own, plenty of modern filmmakers "solved" it by just having to women have a quick 1 minute chat about something, then go right back to being stereotypical love interests.

I think the Bechdel test is simply garnering so much attention because it's easier to add a short snippet of dialogue to a story than stepping up and working hard to write a cast with truly nuanced and interesting female characters
and actually give them important roles to play rather than making them a gender-swapped equivalent to Boba Fett (https://dorksideoftheforce.com/2019/01/30/star-wars-boba-fett-overrated-character/).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Danvzare on 03 Mar 2021, 18:34
Oh, if only...
But for every awful jock, there are just as many guys who think they are so much better than those jocks, yet still think they deserve a girlfriend who will bend over backward to curl for them anyway, and the quote I cited mentions several other types too;
It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics.
I would absolutely love to get you in the same room as my sister. She'd probably turn your entire worldview upside down. (laugh)
For instance, look up Lady Death comics. That's what my sister likes. (nod)
And trust me, she does not give a crap about what any man thinks. She likes what she likes, because she likes them.

That being said, I think it's a little unfair that you changed the definition of "Cool Girl" to "Dream Girl". Of course nobody's "Dream Girl" exists, that's what the "Dream" part means. (roll)
But, there are a lot of people that do need to realize that. So your your point does stand.  (nod)
It just needs to be worded better.


This is a very extreme example, but I think this really showcases how it feels to a lot of women when a lot of guys will be so quick to say "oh sure it's awful, but it's only those kind of guys who do it and I'm obviously and visibly not that kind of guy".
I once had the misfortune to work in a place where there were a diverse set of men working, Swedes and immigrants from various nations, guys of all ages and with varied interests and levels of education, and they were all laughing along at the same sexist and homophobic jokes. There is no "magic bullet" that will make you immune to being a jerk, all you can do is just to keep being on your best behavior and be ready to call others out on it if you want to avoid being one.

Sorry if I'm going off on a tangent here, but this is something I've been thinking of for a while and think more people ought to consider.
"oh sure it's awful, but it's only those kind of guys who do it and I'm obviously and visibly not that kind of guy", well I'd hate to break it to you, but people like to defend themselves.
If someone called you one of those straw-man argument man-hating feminists, you would probably be quick to point out that those types of people are awful, but you're not one of those types of people.
Don't paint everyone with the same brush, and don't complain when someone tells you not to.
That being said, I am a little bit sexist and a little bit racist (I'm probably even a little bit homophobic). It's ingrained into me through cultural osmosis. You probably are too.  :-D The question is, are you more than me?
At least I'm willing to question that what I believe might be wrong. You on the other hand, based on what I've read on this thread, seem quite adamant that nothing you believe in is wrong.
You need to question yourself more, re-evaluate your beliefs, and most importantly, stop going to articles written by people who think the same way as you. Diversify and question things more!
That's why I love talk to you. You're my way of doing exactly that. :-D


Also, of course they were all laughing at the same sexist and homophobic jokes, it's called reading the room. Trust me, you don't want to be the one guy to point out that this joke (or comment) is sexist, homophobic, or racist, in the middle of a friendly conversation. You aren't going to change them, you're just going to piss them off, and probably even make them worse (I'm not kidding, it's a psychological effect that happens).
I mean sure, if it goes too far, step in, but otherwise keep your mouth shut.  (roll)
You don't stop that stuff by highlighting it every chance you get.



Also, as for "Nancy the Happy Whore and the Perfidious Petrol Station".
I've played it. Good game. The title is a bit off-putting, but the characters are quite lovable. Nancy's optimism is just so entertaining.  :-D
It's short though.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 03 Mar 2021, 20:57
I would absolutely love to get you in the same room as my sister. She'd probably turn your entire worldview upside down. (laugh)
For instance, look up Lady Death comics. That's what my sister likes. (nod)
And trust me, she does not give a crap about what any man thinks. She likes what she likes, because she likes them.
Well, it'd be interesting to hear her point of view, but I will say that it's not exactly news to me that there are women who like divisive comics and similar media too,
and while I think Lady Death has a silly costume, I don't find some women liking her that strange compared to much other stuff actively marketed towards women.

Feel free to ask her to join the forum if you think she'd be interested.
"oh sure it's awful, but it's only those kind of guys who do it and I'm obviously and visibly not that kind of guy", well I'd hate to break it to you, but people like to defend themselves.
If someone called you one of those straw-man argument man-hating feminists, you would probably be quick to point out that those types of people are awful, but you're not one of those types of people.
Don't paint everyone with the same brush, and don't complain when someone tells you not to.
That being said, I am a little bit sexist and a little bit racist (I'm probably even a little bit homophobic). It's ingrained into me through cultural osmosis. You probably are too.  :-D The question is, are you more than me?
At least I'm willing to question that what I believe might be wrong. You on the other hand, based on what I've read on this thread, seem quite adamant that nothing you believe in is wrong.
You need to question yourself more, re-evaluate your beliefs, and most importantly, stop going to articles written by people who think the same way as you. Diversify and question things more!
That's why I love talk to you. You're my way of doing exactly that. :-D
I wasn't trying to call you out personally, and I'm sorry if it came across that way, but I really wanted to comment on a pattern I've seen for quite a while now.
Of course people don't want to see themselves as the baddie, but I do think there's a difference between saying "I try my best not to do this" and saying "only this group of other people do this".
I'm sorry if my first comment failed to clarify this.

And I do question myself and my beliefs, nearly every day, whether I'm not polite enough, whether I'm too harsh, whether I'm writing too much for people to read or not enough to explain my position.
I want to make clear that I do not think that the vast majority of guys in this forum is deliberately or intentionally sexist (in fact, this is one of the nicest corners of the Internet I've been to), but
many do or say things that are unintentionally sexist, and I've been trying to point some of this out as politely as I can, but it's hard when all of this has been stereotyped from the get-go as some
oversensitive and irrational prudery since the time of the suffragettes.

Anyway, I will say that I greatly appreciate your commenting on this, and being willing to have a good-faith debate on this.  (nod)
Also, of course they were all laughing at the same sexist and homophobic jokes, it's called reading the room. Trust me, you don't want to be the one guy to point out that this joke (or comment) is sexist, homophobic, or racist, in the middle of a friendly conversation. You aren't going to change them, you're just going to piss them off, and probably even make them worse (I'm not kidding, it's a psychological effect that happens).
I mean sure, if it goes too far, step in, but otherwise keep your mouth shut.  (roll)
You don't stop that stuff by highlighting it every chance you get.
I don't want to replicate any of the jokes I've heard there, but I will say that those jokes at the place I mentioned were really, really bad.
And I didn't say anything at the time, because they were a big group of burly men laughing at those jokes, but that just meant I and any other women or closeted gay men had to suffer in silence.

It's basically a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, because I fully understand your point, it's so easy to just
make them angry and write you off as a stuck-up prude, and frame their "jokes" as some cool rebellion against pc culture,
but at the same time, if you don't tell them off, they'll take silence as approval and keep dehumanizing women and minorities,
and it's been proven time and time again that accepting such humour also makes people more willing to write off more serious hate crimes
and harassment as not a big deal, and vulnerable people get harassed into leaving places where it's allowed.

Like that place I used to work? I left it, in large part because I couldn't stand the people there anymore, and the few who seemed otherwise decent never spoke up against the a******s.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 03 Mar 2021, 21:13
And to prove feminists aren't all fun-hating killjoys, I want to share a sample of a great parody comic (http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311) highlighting some of the absurd stereotypes mentioned here:
(http://surlymuse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kate_beaton_every_time.jpg)

(https://digitalstrips.com/wp-content/strongfemalessmall1.jpg)

(https://am24.mediaite.com/tms/cnt/uploads/2018/05/Screen-Shot-2018-05-17-at-9.52.05-AM.jpg)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 04 Mar 2021, 10:14
I'm not in the habit of plugging podcasts, but I think a prime example of this is in this episode from the loremen podcast (http://www.loremenpodcast.com/episode-10-s2), wherein 1800s London, a number of women on the streets were non-fatally stabbed by a man who'd run away afterward, nicknamed "the London monster" by the public.

Thank you for the plug. One of the most revealing things about that story is how ready people were to believe a single monster, or a co-ordinated team of monsters were responsible for a spate of attacks. Because the unpalatable alternative was that men - in general - were in the habit of harassing and assaulting women in the street. (Of course, the podcast doesn't pass the Bechdel test, unfortunately.)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 04 Mar 2021, 11:17
I'm not in the habit of plugging podcasts, but I think a prime example of this is in this episode from the loremen podcast (http://www.loremenpodcast.com/episode-10-s2), wherein 1800s London, a number of women on the streets were non-fatally stabbed by a man who'd run away afterward, nicknamed "the London monster" by the public.

Thank you for the plug. One of the most revealing things about that story is how ready people were to believe a single monster, or a co-ordinated team of monsters were responsible for a spate of attacks. Because the unpalatable alternative was that men - in general - were in the habit of harassing and assaulting women in the street. (Of course, the podcast doesn't pass the Bechdel test, unfortunately.)
Just goes to show not everything has to pass the test in order to be a good commentary!  :)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Babar on 05 Mar 2021, 14:50
Also, of course they were all laughing at the same sexist and homophobic jokes, it's called reading the room. Trust me, you don't want to be the one guy to point out that this joke (or comment) is sexist, homophobic, or racist, in the middle of a friendly conversation. You aren't going to change them, you're just going to piss them off, and probably even make them worse (I'm not kidding, it's a psychological effect that happens).
I mean sure, if it goes too far, step in, but otherwise keep your mouth shut.  (roll)
You don't stop that stuff by highlighting it every chance you get.
You don't need to do it every chance you get. Most people are normal enough that if you say it once, they won't repeat it in front of you specifically. And if just a second person from the same group says it again, then they'll usually be "Oh, I guess I shouldn't publicly make these sort of jokes".
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 05 Mar 2021, 20:48
Also, of course they were all laughing at the same sexist and homophobic jokes, it's called reading the room. Trust me, you don't want to be the one guy to point out that this joke (or comment) is sexist, homophobic, or racist, in the middle of a friendly conversation. You aren't going to change them, you're just going to piss them off, and probably even make them worse (I'm not kidding, it's a psychological effect that happens).
I mean sure, if it goes too far, step in, but otherwise keep your mouth shut.  (roll)
You don't stop that stuff by highlighting it every chance you get.
You don't need to do it every chance you get. Most people are normal enough that if you say it once, they won't repeat it in front of you specifically. And if just a second person from the same group says it again, then they'll usually be "Oh, I guess I shouldn't publicly make these sort of jokes".
I say this is why standing up for others is the most important thing you can do in your daily life, because if somebody is willing to risk ruining the mood and be labeled a killjoy prude for calling out a mean joke,
chances are it's really that bad, and while I can agree that one person calling it out mighrt not change anything, those who do often do so exactly because they hope to bring it to light to decent people who might have missed the severity of it.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Matti on 06 Mar 2021, 13:31
Agreed.

Keeping your mouth shut or even laughing at said jokes you're supporting that kind of behavior. Those guys just feel reassured and validated, because they'll never be confronted about their sexist or racist views. If anything they need to keep their mouthes shut.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 06 Mar 2021, 13:52
Agreed.

Keeping your mouth shut or even laughing at said jokes you're supporting that kind of behavior. Those guys just feel reassured and validated, because they'll never be confronted about their sexist or racist views. If anything they need to keep their mouthes shut.
Plus it's not just validating bad guys, if you don't see anyone else speaking out, you have zero way of telling the gross bigots apart from "nice guys" who don't want to be bigoted but just don't want to "kill the vibes",
and it gets easy to believe that every one of them is nodding along because they genuinely agree with the bigotry, and you are weird and alone and should just stop caring.

It's that kind of stuff that leads to cases of schools simply expelling bullying victims to get rid of the "troublemaker" complaining rather than taking the work and effort to show the bullies that what they're doing isn't accepted.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Atelier on 08 Mar 2021, 10:45
Good discussion everybody.

I think this paragraph (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13306276-gone-girl) should be required reading for every man trying to write a female love interest

Funnily enough I watched Gone Girl very recently (great movie), and this scene / passage from the book just confused me.

What is its purpose? I understand that the monologue has become iconic for some feminists (see here (https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/gone-girl-no-cool-girl) and here (https://www.salon.com/2019/12/26/how-the-scathing-gone-girl-rant-about-being-the-cool-girl-defined-the-decade)).

But to my mind it is just the words of a character in a novel (an extraordinarily evil and vengeful character). This interview with Flynn (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/01/gillian-flynn-bestseller-gone-girl-misogyny) in The Guardian suggests to me the evilness of Amy was the primary feminist motivation of the book. Flynn says that feminism is 'also the ability to have women who are bad characters… the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing'.

For me, the 'Cool Girl' monologue is owned entirely by Amy's character, and it certainly does not reveal any real-life wisdom on how 'men' actually think, or how 'women' perceive they should be. Flynn's 'lurid plots make no claim to social realism: to interpret her evil female characters as somehow representative of their real-life gender, you must willfully overlook hundreds of pages of other people and events that you'd almost certainly never encounter in reality, either.'

So I am absolutely on the same page as Danvzare here:

Having read that paragraph, all I can say is that no guy wants a girl like that.

I will add that some men probably do, but at least no man I've ever met in my life.

My overall point is that I don't need to read the Cool Girl monologue in order to write a female love interest. It is a monologue that is a work of fiction in itself.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 08 Mar 2021, 11:26
I think this paragraph (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13306276-gone-girl) should be required reading for every man trying to write a female love interest

Funnily enough I watched Gone Girl very recently (great movie), and this scene / passage from the book just confused me.

What is its purpose? I understand that the monologue has become iconic for some feminists (see here (https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/gone-girl-no-cool-girl) and here (https://www.salon.com/2019/12/26/how-the-scathing-gone-girl-rant-about-being-the-cool-girl-defined-the-decade)).

But to my mind it is just the words of a character in a novel (an extraordinarily evil and vengeful character). This interview with Flynn (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/01/gillian-flynn-bestseller-gone-girl-misogyny) in The Guardian suggests to me the evilness of Amy was the primary feminist motivation of the book. Flynn says that feminism is 'also the ability to have women who are bad characters… the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing'.

For me, the 'Cool Girl' monologue is owned entirely by Amy's character, and it certainly does not reveal any real-life wisdom on how 'men' actually think, or how 'women' perceive they should be. Flynn's 'lurid plots make no claim to social realism: to interpret her evil female characters as somehow representative of their real-life gender, you must willfully overlook hundreds of pages of other people and events that you'd almost certainly never encounter in reality, either.'

My thoughts exactly! I was lazy to look up if the monologue was Flynn using the character to channel her own thoughts or if it was her writing in-character as a cynical sociopath. Probably a bit of both. In any case, I really like her view that challenging stereotypes means writing atypical female characters all across the personality spectrum.

I'm also confused by how the "cool girl" trope can be interpreted as sexist. I can read it uncharitably as a self-serving fantasy of guys who expect a woman to cater to their selfish needs without having needs of her own. I can also read it charitably as wanting a partner who shares your hobbies and interests. I can even read it as a statement that a woman acting masculine (eating chili hot dogs, playing videogames) is cool. I don't think any of this is gendered - women have shallow and selfish fantasies too, and they also create tropes which frame partners as service-providers rather than real human beings. It's a general human tendency that's hardly exclusive to relationships and gender. It's dumb, but I'm failing to see the sexism in it.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Mar 2021, 11:38
Good discussion everybody.

I think this paragraph (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13306276-gone-girl) should be required reading for every man trying to write a female love interest

Funnily enough I watched Gone Girl very recently (great movie), and this scene / passage from the book just confused me.

What is its purpose? I understand that the monologue has become iconic for some feminists (see here (https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/gone-girl-no-cool-girl) and here (https://www.salon.com/2019/12/26/how-the-scathing-gone-girl-rant-about-being-the-cool-girl-defined-the-decade)).

But to my mind it is just the words of a character in a novel (an extraordinarily evil and vengeful character). This interview with Flynn (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/01/gillian-flynn-bestseller-gone-girl-misogyny) in The Guardian suggests to me the evilness of Amy was the primary feminist motivation of the book. Flynn says that feminism is 'also the ability to have women who are bad characters… the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing'.

For me, the 'Cool Girl' monologue is owned entirely by Amy's character, and it certainly does not reveal any real-life wisdom on how 'men' actually think, or how 'women' perceive they should be. Flynn's 'lurid plots make no claim to social realism: to interpret her evil female characters as somehow representative of their real-life gender, you must willfully overlook hundreds of pages of other people and events that you'd almost certainly never encounter in reality, either.'

So I am absolutely on the same page as Danvzare here:

Having read that paragraph, all I can say is that no guy wants a girl like that.

I will add that some men probably do, but at least no man I've ever met in my life.

My overall point is that I don't need to read the Cool Girl monologue in order to write a female love interest. It is a monologue that is a work of fiction in itself.
Well, plenty of authors have used their villains as a way to highlight faults in society for ages (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VillainHasAPoint), and as for whether men who want a girl like the dialogue describes exists,
there are enough droves of stories written by male authors featuring female love interests who do nothing but orbit the male hero and/or is willing to drop all of her previous goals and connections to elope with him to give many women the impression that well, this is what lots of men fantasize about.

Simply put, it resonates with a lot of women because men keep writing and idealizing such characters in fiction and commercials, not to mention all the memes and social media posts.
(I still remember how popular this post (https://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/5708467_700b_v1.jpg) got.)
I'm also confused by how the "cool girl" trope can be interpreted as sexist. I can read it uncharitably it as a self-serving fantasy of guys who expect a woman to cater to their selfish needs without having needs of her own. I can also read it charitably as wanting a partner who shares your hobbies and interests. I can even read it as a statement that a woman acting masculine (eating chilly hot dogs, playing videogames) is cool. I don't think any of this is gendered - women have shallow and selfish fantasies too, and they also create tropes which frame partners as service-providers rather than real human beings. It's a general human tendency that's hardly exclusive to relationships and gender. It's dumb, but I'm failing to see the sexism in it.
Not that there aren't a lot of unhealthy fantasies to criticize in female-centered romances, but the difference to me is that such things tend to be confined within the "trashy romance book" genre, and widely mocked from all parts of the spectrum (most people I know of either think they're trash, or a guilty pleasure but acknowledge they're still bad and unrealistic), whereas the shallow female love interests by male authors exist in every genre, and some of them even in works that are considered great classics.

Secondly, I also think romance books are chock full of sexist stereotypes and that two wrongs don't make a right.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Atelier on 08 Mar 2021, 12:34
this is what lots of men fantasize about

That is absolutely fair enough, Blondbraid. I'm sure there are (but certainly nobody I would associate with long enough to become my friends).

With respect, however, you are proceeding from 'lots of men fantasise about this' to 'every man must read this to check their fantasies'.

Edit

I'm also confused by how the "cool girl" trope can be interpreted as sexist... I can also read it charitably as wanting a partner who shares your hobbies and interests... I don't think any of this is gendered... It's a general human tendency that's hardly exclusive to relationships and gender. It's dumb, but I'm failing to see the sexism in it.

Perfectly said. Particularly with the 'but it could be a vegetarian variation on the Cool Girl trope'. Where then does the metaphor end? It is not an inherently gendered concept. Humans often change their behaviour to be accepted. I certainly have done in relationships - and in fact exactly by becoming de facto vegetarian! Does this make me a Cool Girl too?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 08 Mar 2021, 13:01
The more I read here, the more I feel like reverting back to that old writing guidance: write what you know.

If you are not a woman, it seems very unwise to risk treading into the territory of even trying to write female characters, for no matter how hard you try, you are more and more likely to tread on a minefield of "no, not like that". I'm sure even my depictions of female protagonists in Cold Hand Reef, or the cancelled He Watches project, are inadequate on some level. And in my other games they exist as side characters, or not at all due to limited cast of characters.

If one does not include an adequate number of female characters: you are excluding women, and thus sexist.
If one does include women, but not in the role of a protagonist or a key character: you are portraying women as less important, and thus sexist.
If one does include women as protagonists or key characters, but not to an exact standard that varies from audience to audience: you are characterizing women incorrectly, or abusing tropes (which is somehow wrong, I guess?) and thus sexist.

All of this seems to come back to the basic concept: women should create more, and be the change they want to see, rather than try to squeeze water from stone in the form of forcing established male writers to write outside of what they know.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 08 Mar 2021, 16:13
If you are not a woman, it seems very unwise to risk treading into the territory of even trying to write female characters, for no matter how hard you try.

By this logic, authors would be limited only to writing about themselves. It's an absurdly reductive interpretation of "write what you know".

Women have been writing novels for as long as the medium has existed. If pervasive sexist tropes persist, it's not because female writers aren't trying hard enough.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 08 Mar 2021, 17:03
True, like stereotypes, tropes exist for a very good reason. They're often rooted in lived experience and reality, or some adaptation of those, altered to make it more entertaining to the target audience.
But alas, what is a fun trope or stereotype to one, can be disgusting to another. Like most jokes that target a type of people, whether it be blacks, whites, gay, motorcyclists, gingers or cat owners, it's often the least entertaining to the people who are the butt of the joke, or in this case, the subject of the trope or stereotype.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Mar 2021, 17:35
this is what lots of men fantasize about

That is absolutely fair enough, Blondbraid. I'm sure there are (but certainly nobody I would associate with long enough to become my friends).

With respect, however, you are proceeding from 'lots of men fantasise about this' to 'every man must read this to check their fantasies'.
I'm not saying every man wants that, but I think everyone should read the quote because it's a good and thought-provoking quote.
I've tried to criticize broad structural trends and not individuals personally, and I hope this clears it up.
If you are not a woman, it seems very unwise to risk treading into the territory of even trying to write female characters, for no matter how hard you try.

By this logic, authors would be limited only to writing about themselves. It's an absurdly reductive interpretation of "write what you know".

Women have been writing novels for as long as the medium has existed. If pervasive sexist tropes persist, it's not because female writers aren't trying hard enough.
Well put! If you could only write about what you have lived through, no one would be able to write any historical novels ever for a start.

The thing is that when you don't know about the subject, you do research, and find what people who have lived through those things say about it.
Good historical authors read history books, people writing war stories read testimonies of veterans, etcetera.
And what does it say about an author's view of women when they think 50% of humanity isn't worth speaking in depth to, empathize with, or learning enough about to portray believably?
All of this seems to come back to the basic concept: women should create more, and be the change they want to see, rather than try to squeeze water from stone in the form of forcing established male writers to write outside of what they know.
I've already spoken about this in this thread before; most women here already are telling their own stories in AGS games or the Fortnightly writing competition, but that still can't be compared with the vast entertainment networks that dominate the public and the broad market, all of which are strongly male-dominated. Heck, just buying a full computer plus most of the Adobe and Autodesk licenses that AAA game developers use costs more than I make in a month!

Plus you shouldn't have to be a chef in order to be allowed to say if the food tastes bad, should you?
But alas, what is a fun trope or stereotype to one, can be disgusting to another. Like most jokes that target a type of people, whether it be blacks, whites, gay, motorcyclists, gingers or cat owners, it's often the least entertaining to the people who are the butt of the joke, or in this case, the subject of the trope or stereotype.
You've actually hit the nail solidly on the head there.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 08 Mar 2021, 18:18
The thing is that when you don't know about the subject, you do research, and find what people who have lived through those things say about it.
Good historical authors read history books, people writing war stories read testimonies of veterans, etcetera.
And what does it say about an author's view of women when they think 50% of humanity isn't worth speaking in depth to, empathize with, or learning enough about to portray believably?

Precisely, you do research if you want to portray something in an accurate and realistic manner. Or you don't, and you work on well known stereotypes to make something less serious. The latter is, obviously, also far easier to do, and thus more popular.
You also seem to portray this as purely a male problem, the failure to know how to write characters of the opposite sex well. I do wonder if that really is the case, though.

I've already spoken about this in this thread before; most women here already are telling their own stories in AGS games or the Fortnightly writing competition, but that still can't be compared with the vast entertainment networks that dominate the public and the broad market, all of which are strongly male-dominated. Heck, just buying a full computer plus most of the Adobe and Autodesk licenses that AAA game developers use costs more than I make in a month!

Plus you shouldn't have to be a chef in order to be allowed to say if the food tastes bad, should you?

So what do you propose, then? Some kind of government mandated balancing of power in the media industry, slashing male jobs until we have 50-50 representation? Or forced education of male artists, to ensure they create art with the correct balance of genders in a manner that accurately depicts the lived experience of women? I'm sure you're a smarter person than that, so I am genuinely curious: what do you, Blondbraid, personally believe should be done?

I suggested before that we need a slow and steady change over time, but you rejected than and demanded a faster change.
I suggest that women should create more, even on the small scale, and await for their eventual breakout successes that allow them to hit it big in the mainstream, but you shot that down as well.
All I can see is a demand: "I want change and I want it now!", but I cannot recall seeing any concrete suggestions on steps that could be taken to correct the issue, and I can't really think of any that wouldn't trample all over the freedom of artists to create what they want, how they want.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 08 Mar 2021, 18:24


Simply put, it resonates with a lot of women because men keep writing and idealizing such characters in fiction and commercials, not to mention all the memes and social media posts.
(I still remember how popular this post (https://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/5708467_700b_v1.jpg) got.)


"Pokemon lover"? Really?  :-\

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Mar 2021, 20:54
The thing is that when you don't know about the subject, you do research, and find what people who have lived through those things say about it.
Good historical authors read history books, people writing war stories read testimonies of veterans, etcetera.
And what does it say about an author's view of women when they think 50% of humanity isn't worth speaking in depth to, empathize with, or learning enough about to portray believably?

Precisely, you do research if you want to portray something in an accurate and realistic manner. Or you don't, and you work on well known stereotypes to make something less serious. The latter is, obviously, also far easier to do, and thus more popular.
You also seem to portray this as purely a male problem, the failure to know how to write characters of the opposite sex well. I do wonder if that really is the case, though.
Well, there are plenty of examples of male authors who fail to write any good female characters and still considered good authors,
but I can't think of a single female writer who gets lauded as a good author and praised for interesting female characters while simultaneously being completely unable to write decent male characters.
I've already spoken about this in this thread before; most women here already are telling their own stories in AGS games or the Fortnightly writing competition, but that still can't be compared with the vast entertainment networks that dominate the public and the broad market, all of which are strongly male-dominated. Heck, just buying a full computer plus most of the Adobe and Autodesk licenses that AAA game developers use costs more than I make in a month!

Plus you shouldn't have to be a chef in order to be allowed to say if the food tastes bad, should you?

So what do you propose, then? Some kind of government mandated balancing of power in the media industry, slashing male jobs until we have 50-50 representation? Or forced education of male artists, to ensure they create art with the correct balance of genders in a manner that accurately depicts the lived experience of women? I'm sure you're a smarter person than that, so I am genuinely curious: what do you, Blondbraid, personally believe should be done?

I suggested before that we need a slow and steady change over time, but you rejected than and demanded a faster change.
I suggest that women should create more, even on the small scale, and await for their eventual breakout successes that allow them to hit it big in the mainstream, but you shot that down as well.
All I can see is a demand: "I want change and I want it now!", but I cannot recall seeing any concrete suggestions on steps that could be taken to correct the issue, and I can't really think of any that wouldn't trample all over the freedom of artists to create what they want, how they want.
Again, you should be able to criticize societal trends without having an expert solution on hand.

I personally think culture would benefit from more grants and sponsorships to female artists and directors, and school curriculums requiring students to read books of an equal number of male and female authors to teach kids about multiple perspectives, and I think open criticism and discussion of media from a wider sociological perspective needs to be encouraged, and the scientifically proven effect media has on our values and beliefs acknowledged by the public, and hopefully one day the "it's just a movie/game/comic, it doesn't matter" argument will be seen as on par with anti-waxers.

Also: Critique isn't censorship. Stop treating people criticizing bad writing as equal to a book ban.

But even if you dislike these solutions I've suggested I ask, how on earth do you think anything in the world could ever change for the better if nobody ever criticized the status quo?
Do you just think that everything will just get better by itself? Had you lived 200 years earlier, would you have told the suffragettes and abolitionists to just wait everything out?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 08 Mar 2021, 21:28
I personally think culture would benefit from ... school curriculums requiring students to read books of an equal number of male and female authors...

Also: Critique isn't censorship. Stop treating people criticizing bad writing as equal to a book ban.

Your suggestion is, in effect, pretty much equal to a book ban.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: eri0o on 08 Mar 2021, 21:45
https://seejane.org/
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 08 Mar 2021, 21:47
There is also a difference between criticising something, and nagging about something.

> The roof is leaking.
< I know, but we have no ladder and the roofing company won't open until Monday. I put a bucket under the leak.
> Well that's not good enough. This is all taking far too long!
< Nothing we can do at this very moment.

- 10 minutes pass.
> The roof is leaking.
< Well what do you want to do about it!?
> I'm just pointing out the issue! I can do that without suggesting a fix, right?
< ...yes

- 10 minutes pass
> The roof is leaking.
< !!!!!!

---

Still, though. Critique away! I think you have every right to point out these issues and talk about them, just like I have the right to critique your critique and, occasionally, disagree with portions of it, or challenge some of your views.
I just tend to be the practical sort, and I feel that there is a point where repeatedly complaining about an issue while not being able to suggest any concrete actions that might actually resolve the issue, becomes counterproductive. Thus I try to challenge you on the topic, to try and see if we can think of concrete actions that could resolve the matter and put an end to the need to point out these issues, as they become resolved.

Thinking back, we had to read five books in school, and I think three of them were written by women. I guess Finland is ahead of the curve in equality, or maybe it was just a fluke in my years.
Fun fact: Agatha Christie's Ten Little Niggers (modernly known as "And Then There Were None") still had it's original name on the copies we were given in class. Finland is not ahead of the curve in that area...
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 08 Mar 2021, 22:31
I personally think culture would benefit from ... school curriculums requiring students to read books of an equal number of male and female authors...

Also: Critique isn't censorship. Stop treating people criticizing bad writing as equal to a book ban.

Your suggestion is, in effect, pretty much equal to a book ban.
How is it that? I don't get it.
Putting one book on the school curriculum instead of another book is not the same thing as banning a book and actively preventing people from reading it. It's already been discussed in this thread. (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58692.0)
There is also a difference between criticising something, and nagging about something.

> The roof is leaking.
< I know, but we have no ladder and the roofing company won't open until Monday. I put a bucket under the leak.
> Well that's not good enough. This is all taking far too long!
< Nothing we can do at this very moment.

- 10 minutes pass.
> The roof is leaking.
< Well what do you want to do about it!?
> I'm just pointing out the issue! I can do that without suggesting a fix, right?
< ...yes

- 10 minutes pass
> The roof is leaking.
< !!!!!!

---

Still, though. Critique away! I think you have every right to point out these issues and talk about them, just like I have the right to critique your critique and, occasionally, disagree with portions of it, or challenge some of your views.
I just tend to be the practical sort, and I feel that there is a point where repeatedly complaining about an issue while not being able to suggest any concrete actions that might actually resolve the issue, becomes counterproductive. Thus I try to challenge you on the topic, to try and see if we can think of concrete actions that could resolve the matter and put an end to the need to point out these issues, as they become resolved.
Well, some guys will interpret anything a woman says as nagging. Not pointing any fingers, just putting it out there.

Plus firstly, this is a thread dedicated to media analysis, so is it so weird that this is what gets focused on here? And I believe raising awareness and bringing up info does make a difference,
and looking from the earlier replies in this thread, there are plenty of people here who honestly want to learn new perspectives and have a decent space to discuss them. And at least in Sweden,
a few cinemas started marking which of their films passed the Bechdel test (https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-m%C3%A4rkning) exactly because people were discussing it and arguing for more films that passed it, so these things do make a difference.

And secondly, glasshouses and all that. You're the one who's kept saying " but why don't women make your own games/books" several times now despite me and several others point out that even if more women do that,
they still won't have the money and resources as giant companies who have the money and manpower to mass-market their stories and reach a worldwide audience most can never dream of, and you keep painting any suggestion
of how to improve anything as a fool's errand, and seemingly keep arguing for the status quo for the sake of it.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 08 Mar 2021, 23:07
> The roof is leaking.
< I know, but we have no ladder and the roofing company won't open until Monday. I put a bucket under the leak.
> Well that's not good enough. This is all taking far too long!
< Nothing we can do at this very moment.

A better analogy would be:

> The roof is leaking.
< It is in the roof's nature to leak. I don't like it any more than you do, but roofs have always leaked. Efforts to fix the roof are worse than leaks. Maybe one day when we are all dead the roof will stop leaking on it's own.
> Well that's not good enough. This is all taking far too long!
< AAAARGH! STOP NAGGING MEEEEEE!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 08 Mar 2021, 23:41
How is it that? I don't get it.
Putting one book on the school curriculum instead of another book is not the same thing as banning a book and actively preventing people from reading it. It's already been discussed in this thread. (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58692.0)

Well, I may have overstated that a little bit :). You are not suggesting banning books, you are just actively discouraging children from reading some of them.

There are many different perspectives books offer. Historical, cultural, political, philosophical, psychological. Authors have unique, individual personalities and insights, and only fragments of those may be, sometimes, influenced by gender. Maybe I was a bit harsh and fast to judge, but it sounded to me as if you wanted to lump all of that into male books and female books. Why would you elevate the gender of the author above other qualities and categories? Above the actual content of the books?

Sure, gendered perspective is one of the aspects people should consider when composing curriculums - reading is very likely one of the ways we learn empathy after all, and seeing the world through the eyes of the opposite gender is definitely useful for children. As are countless other outlooks and ideas and stories that have nothing to do with the gender of the protagonist(s), let alone the author.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 09 Mar 2021, 00:51
Well, I may have overstated that a little bit :). You are not suggesting banning books, you are just actively discouraging children from reading some of them.

I feel like we're re-treading the argument Blondbraid linked to about "banning" books, but I honestly find this baffling. Curriculums are limited by necessity, so anyone advocating for any book is calling for that book to be studied at the expense of roughly 129 million books. It's bizarre and wrong to compare it to banning books. The standard conservative stance seems to be that a highly selective reading list is perfectly acceptable - unless someone suggests an addition - at which point a selective reading list becomes an unconscionable Orwellian nightmare.

The hyperbole also obscures the fact that lots of books already are actually banned from curriculums across the world. Which is, for some reason, a cause of much less outrage. Last year, British schools were told not to accept teaching resources from anti-capitalist groups. A book called Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin caused so much outrage in the UK that schools were still forbidden from promoting homosexuality or "teaching... of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship" when I was in school.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Mar 2021, 04:27
I feel like we're re-treading the argument Blondbraid linked to about "banning" books, but I honestly find this baffling. Curriculums are limited by necessity, so anyone advocating for any book is calling for that book to be studied at the expense of roughly 129 million books. It's bizarre and wrong to compare it to banning books. The standard conservative stance seems to be that a highly selective reading list is perfectly acceptable - unless someone suggests an addition - at which point a selective reading list becomes an unconscionable Orwellian nightmare.

This wasn't about anyone suggesting a book, it was about (hypothetically) judging and selecting all books based on the gender of their author, and I tried to explain why I think that's a bad idea. Let's not dwell on the hyperbole - I already conceded nobody is banning books and I'm not "outraged".
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 07:34
Well, some guys will interpret anything a woman says as nagging. Not pointing any fingers, just putting it out there.

Funny you think nagging, and pointing it out, are both gendered actions. I consider both acts gender neutral.

And secondly, glasshouses and all that. You're the one who's kept saying " but why don't women make your own games/books" several times now despite me and several others point out that even if more women do that,
they still won't have the money and resources as giant companies who have the money and manpower to mass-market their stories and reach a worldwide audience most can never dream of, and you keep painting any suggestion
of how to improve anything as a fool's errand, and seemingly keep arguing for the status quo for the sake of it.

This is exactly why I asked the question of what you suggest, and the sad outcome of that is that you, just like every other person I've talked to about the topic, has found themselves in the same dead end. No concrete actions that could be taken, so all people can do is nag other people around them and hope that SOMEONE comes up with a solution. Your only suggested action was dictating more closely what books children are made to read as part of their education based on a non-educational criteria, which does seem to be along the lines of ideas I've seen other feminists have in other areas, so that checks out.

To me it seems the only paths to solving this issue are:
1) A harsh authoritarian regime that strictly controls what kinds of entertainment, and most importantly created by whom, are permitted for public consumption and in what amounts.
2) A natural change of attitudes over time, as audiences change and grow and generational changes bring about changes in demographics and interests, much like we've seen in the whole LGBTTQQPPAA+ movements success in becoming mainstream in most of the civilized world in a few short decades.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 08:28
I feel like we're re-treading the argument Blondbraid linked to about "banning" books, but I honestly find this baffling. Curriculums are limited by necessity, so anyone advocating for any book is calling for that book to be studied at the expense of roughly 129 million books. It's bizarre and wrong to compare it to banning books. The standard conservative stance seems to be that a highly selective reading list is perfectly acceptable - unless someone suggests an addition - at which point a selective reading list becomes an unconscionable Orwellian nightmare.

This wasn't about anyone suggesting a book, it was about (hypothetically) judging and selecting all books based on the gender of their author, and I tried to explain why I think that's a bad idea. Let's not dwell on the hyperbole - I already conceded nobody is banning books and I'm not "outraged".
Well, the problem is that people already are favoring men because of their gender, not consciously, but if somebody is setting up a school curriculum meant to represent a wide selection of perspectives, and all of them are male authors,
that is a bias in favour of men. And it's not like I'm suggesting we should replace great male authors with any female hack writing harlequin novels, you'd still have to choose female authors based on their talent in writing, having gender equality
in the school curriculum would merely mean replacing an proabably unintended bias with awareness and actively working to give students a chance to read a fair amount from both halves of the population instead of just one.
Well, some guys will interpret anything a woman says as nagging. Not pointing any fingers, just putting it out there.

Funny you think nagging, and pointing it out, are both gendered actions. I consider both acts gender neutral.
Well, I can't recall the last time I've ever heard a man being told he nags too much when complaining about something.
And secondly, glasshouses and all that. You're the one who's kept saying " but why don't women make your own games/books" several times now despite me and several others point out that even if more women do that,
they still won't have the money and resources as giant companies who have the money and manpower to mass-market their stories and reach a worldwide audience most can never dream of, and you keep painting any suggestion
of how to improve anything as a fool's errand, and seemingly keep arguing for the status quo for the sake of it.

This is exactly why I asked the question of what you suggest, and the sad outcome of that is that you, just like every other person I've talked to about the topic, has found themselves in the same dead end. No concrete actions that could be taken, so all people can do is nag other people around them and hope that SOMEONE comes up with a solution. Your only suggested action was dictating more closely what books children are made to read as part of their education based on a non-educational criteria, which does seem to be along the lines of ideas I've seen other feminists have in other areas, so that checks out.

To me it seems the only paths to solving this issue are:
1) A harsh authoritarian regime that strictly controls what kinds of entertainment, and most importantly created by whom, are permitted for public consumption and in what amounts.
2) A natural change of attitudes over time, as audiences change and grow and generational changes bring about changes in demographics and interests, much like we've seen in the whole LGBTTQQPPAA+ movements success in becoming mainstream in most of the civilized world in a few short decades.
Well, Sweden has been perfectly capable of starting several of the things I suggested without devolving into whatever dystopia you think would appear.
And schools already are dictating what kids read, I'm merely saying they should get to read and learn to empathize with both halves of the population.
And empathy is a learned trait and will be affected by what we are taught, so it is an educational criteria.

And as for natural changes over time, the idea that people just naturally started accepting LGBT people is laughable. In my homeland, lauded as one of the most progressive countries, homosexuality was forbidden by law until the 1940s,
and legally defined as a disease until the 1970s, and it only became acceptable and legal because people actively fought to make people accept it as something healthy and normal, and constant activism, which was often met by the exact same
arguments you're been making against feminism in this very thread.

There is not one single human right or societal improvement that's just been randomly appearing over time, and even what we today see as the most basic things like equality before the law and the right for every man and woman to vote
was scoffed at by conservatives as wanting too much too fast and horror stories about how society would devolve into a godless dystopia if people who weren't men from the elite classes were allowed to make their voices heard.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 10:06
And as for natural changes over time, the idea that people just naturally started accepting LGBT people is laughable. In my homeland, lauded as one of the most progressive countries, homosexuality was forbidden by law until the 1940s,
and legally defined as a disease until the 1970s, and it only became acceptable and legal because people actively fought to make people accept it as something healthy and normal, and constant activism, which was often met by the exact same
arguments you're been making against feminism in this very thread.

Same timeline in Finland. Why do you think those classifications changed over time? That funny 30 year time skip between the shifts in attitude? It's the natural change I'm talking about in action. New generations and new ideas replacing the old.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 11:11
And as for natural changes over time, the idea that people just naturally started accepting LGBT people is laughable. In my homeland, lauded as one of the most progressive countries, homosexuality was forbidden by law until the 1940s,
and legally defined as a disease until the 1970s, and it only became acceptable and legal because people actively fought to make people accept it as something healthy and normal, and constant activism, which was often met by the exact same
arguments you're been making against feminism in this very thread.

Same timeline in Finland. Why do you think those classifications changed over time? That funny 30 year time skip between the shifts in attitude? It's the natural change I'm talking about in action. New generations and new ideas replacing the old.
And what do you think changed the minds of the new generations? If it was just a natural shift happening every generation, there wouldn't be any oppression lasting for centuries or even millenia. Homosexuality was seen as a sin since
biblical times, for multiple generations with little change, and you think it's a coincidence it was decriminalized first when all men and women had had the right to vote and get a full education, and political movements for the masses had been allowed for a generation?
And there was multiple big activist movements in the sixties that brought about legal change, or did you miss the history on the gay rights movements, civil rights movements, women's movements and anti-Vietnam War movements campaigning at the time, and how they had a massive impact in changing public perception, and eventually the politics, on all those issues?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 11:26
At no point did I say it was a coincidence. More people getting education and the right to vote is exactly what lead to the aforementioned social advances of the LGBTTQQPPAA+ movement. The difference here is that those were minority groups being actively oppressed, and people lacked the natural freedom to influence our governments and laws. These were issues that could be rectified with clearly defined actions. Meanwhile women are neither a minority group nor actively oppressed (outside of minor religious extremist groups, and certain regions of the world, such as portions of religiously influenced Middle East, Asia and Africa, where feminism still has a clear cause). And as we are now talking about something relatively trivial in the form of the entertainment industry, the movement is naturally slower and more ponderous, because there just isn't the same kind of need or urgency for a change. Women who create entertainment aren't being locked up for daring to act outside of their assigned gender roles (well, except by other women who think they did it wrong. Hi, J.K. Rowling!)

But I do believe that change is happening, and we'll see it steadily unfold over the coming decades. How far it reaches in our lifetimes is the only question left to be answered.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Mar 2021, 11:27
Well, the problem is that people already are favoring men because of their gender, not consciously, but if somebody is setting up a school curriculum meant to represent a wide selection of perspectives, and all of them are male authors,
that is a bias in favour of men. And it's not like I'm suggesting we should replace great male authors with any female hack writing harlequin novels, you'd still have to choose female authors based on their talent in writing, having gender equality
in the school curriculum would merely mean replacing an proabably unintended bias with awareness and actively working to give students a chance to read a fair amount from both halves of the population instead of just one.

This looks like a whole new can of worms I'm not sure I want to get into (mostly because I haven't made up my mind - I can see your perspective but I'm not as convinced of it), but at least it seems we can agree on the core concern. You're not saying books should be picked based on the author's gender (maybe with some exceptions where it's directly relevant to the content), you believe that it's already happening and want to correct that. Do I get it?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 09 Mar 2021, 11:35
This wasn't about anyone suggesting a book, it was about (hypothetically) judging and selecting all books based on the gender of their author, and I tried to explain why I think that's a bad idea. Let's not dwell on the hyperbole - I already conceded nobody is banning books and I'm not "outraged".

The thing is, you're not the only person dealing in hyperbole - Blondbraid has been accused of censorship once already in this thread, and it's a common refrain in this debate. I'm glad you've acknowledged it, of course.

I think gender-based quotas aren't a neat solution - I suspect it would be hard to study classics with a 50/50 gender split. But there are no neat solutions for complex social problems. Either way, calling for better representation of female authors isn't passing a judgment on men's writing. I'm not sure why selecting books based on gender would be more troubling than selecting based on language or nationality. In English Literature class we studied English Literature - is the implication that other nationalities write bad books?

I don't understand the issue, unless we believe that men have written better books than women, and that equal representation would mean replacing good books with worse books. Which, I think, is what people are actually afraid of.

Women who create entertainment aren't being locked up for daring to act outside of their assigned gender roles (well, except by other women who think they did it wrong. Hi, J.K. Rowling!)

Needless to say, the billionaire author JK Rowling has not been "locked up". Can we, for a moment, talk about the real world and not some paranoid conservative fever dream?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 11:43
Yes, Ali, I was making a hyperbolic joke. Well done for pointing that out. Good job.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 11:46
Well, the problem is that people already are favoring men because of their gender, not consciously, but if somebody is setting up a school curriculum meant to represent a wide selection of perspectives, and all of them are male authors,
that is a bias in favour of men. And it's not like I'm suggesting we should replace great male authors with any female hack writing harlequin novels, you'd still have to choose female authors based on their talent in writing, having gender equality
in the school curriculum would merely mean replacing an proabably unintended bias with awareness and actively working to give students a chance to read a fair amount from both halves of the population instead of just one.

This looks like a whole new can of worms I'm not sure I want to get into (mostly because I haven't made up my mind - I can see your perspective but I'm not as convinced of it), but at least it seems we can agree on the core concern. You're not saying books should be picked based on the author's gender (maybe with some exceptions where it's directly relevant to the content), you believe that it's already happening and want to correct that. Do I get it?
Pretty much. I think many people have a blind spot on this because society treats men as the default in lots of situations, for example, an all-female cast with only one token guy in a film or book is exceptionally rare,
but stories with an all-male cast and just one woman are a dime a dozen and not treated as weird.

Now, I don't think there should be quotas on jobs requiring specific niche competencies, like say, bridge engineers or brain surgeons, where there are incredibly few qualified people to begin with,
but on school book curriculums, where the entire point is to get students to explore different perspectives and learn to analyze the works of an author, making them read diverse perspectives matter a lot,
and there are so many good authors to choose from so it wouldn't be hard to find a good sample size of female authors just as good as any of the male ones on the curriculum.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 09 Mar 2021, 12:24
Yes, Ali, I was making a hyperbolic joke. Well done for pointing that out. Good job.

I'm not absolutely clear on what makes that a joke, but perhaps you know more about comedy than me.

The point I would make is that critics of feminism (and Blondbraid) in this thread and beyond frequently resort to hyperbole and exaggeration and that makes a reasonable conversation difficult. Especially when those overstatements are partnered enormous understatements like claiming women are not "actively oppressed" outside of religious communities.

It's a lens that turns reality on its head, dismissing real-world inequality and painting progressives as totalitarian tyrants. (As a JOKE, I'm sure.)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 12:27
Clearly I do!  (laugh)

Wait, so you're claiming women are actively oppressed in modern western societies? Now I am curious to see what you're thinking of!
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 09 Mar 2021, 13:15
The fact that women can be equal before the law and still face social and structural barriers to equality is, arguably, what this entire 24 page thread is about.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 14:08
Ah, so you seem to advocate for either some expansion of current law so it can control people more strictly, stripping them of freedoms to make personal decisions, or some other kind of extra-legal manner in which equality is enforced.

Since I believe people have various personal preferences, and should be free to apply them as they see fit, up to and including things like private businesses or religious organizations having the freedom to choose who they associate with and why, or for artists to create the kinds of characters they like, I would have to object to those kinds of attempts to trample of people's freedoms. If you take away a persons right to choose things freely based on their preference in one area of life, you might as well do the same in all areas of life, at which point the creatures you have left are no longer human. They are less than human.

I do, however, support full equality in how laws are written and applied, and wish to see that equality improve the lot of both women and men.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 14:26
Ever heard the saying; Your freedom to swing you fist ends where my nose begins?

And again, none of the attmpts to implement any such laws in Sweden has impacted anyones freedom in any significant way, and freedom to opress and discriminate isn't real freedom for the opressed, is it? Your last reply sounds like poor 1984 fanfiction.

Plus you know men used exactly the same arguments you used now when things like domestic beatings and outright barring female applicants for various jobs was outlawed.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 14:37
Just because a form of argument is used by bad people in some instances, does not mean the form of argument is flawed. That kind of logic makes as much sense as saying "we need to outlaw veganism because Hitler was a vegan!"

Also: did Sweden ever actually pass that one law where they threatened the government would seize assets of private corporations if they failed to fulfill gender quotas in their board of directors? I recall that being a pretty major news piece over in Finland several years back, as it was painted as "those wacky Swedes being at it again" over here. Since I haven't heard of it since, I'm guessing no.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 09 Mar 2021, 15:10
Ah, so you seem to advocate for either some expansion of current law so it can control people more strictly, stripping them of freedoms to make personal decisions, or some other kind of extra-legal manner in which equality is enforced.

For the record: No. Thinking the Bechdel test is a useful critical tool != advocating for government mind control. This is the kind of hyperbole I'm talking about.

Also, saying than argument is bad because it can be used to justify terrible thing is not the same as saying that an argument is bad because it's used by bad people. Good people use bad arguments, and vice versa. I believe Blondbraid is saying that argument is bad in itself, because the same chain of reasoning has been used to justify things we all agree are unacceptable.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 15:17
Also: did Sweden ever actually pass that one law where they threatened the government would seize assets of private corporations if they failed to fulfill gender quotas in their board of directors? I recall that being a pretty major news piece over in Finland several years back, as it was painted as "those wacky Swedes being at it again" over here. Since I haven't heard of it since, I'm guessing no.
As a Swede, I've never heard of such a law, but beware that there's been plenty of right-wing blogs spreading fake news about Sweden.
Ah, so you seem to advocate for either some expansion of current law so it can control people more strictly, stripping them of freedoms to make personal decisions, or some other kind of extra-legal manner in which equality is enforced.

For the record: No. Thinking the Bechdel test is a useful critical tool != advocating for government mind control. This is the kind of hyperbole I'm talking about.

Also, saying than argument is bad because it can be used to justify terrible thing is not the same as saying that an argument is bad because it's used by bad people. Good people use bad arguments, and vice versa. I believe Blondbraid is saying that argument is bad in itself, because the same chain of reasoning has been used to justify things we all agree are unacceptable.
Indeed, some of this debate on feminism  is starting to look a lot like those conservative Americans who'll equate any politics left of Reagan as pure Stalinism.

And yeah, I'm not talking about something bad people brought up once, I'm saying that that kind of reasoning has always been used by people wishing to restrict human rights to groups outside of  themselves.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 15:27
Found it. It was dropped in 2017. Don't know if the Guardian is considered a right-wing blog, but I also recall the same story being covered by the Finnish national broadcaster YLE.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/12/sweden-rejects-quotas-women-boardroom-listed-companies

The idea seems to have been to fine companies by up to almost half a million GBP each year if they didn't have at least 40% women on their board of directors.

In searching for this I also found another classic story of how Sweden has been turning the act of snow-ploughing more gender-equal by ensuring that footpaths are cleared of snow before roads for cars, since women don't apparently drive much in Sweden or something.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Reiter on 09 Mar 2021, 16:20
A footnote on Sweden to keep in mind is that there is a rather disorderly row afoot regarding its portrayal. The kingdom's position on matters political makes it a focal point of a vaster system of debate – and an object of much shouting. There are interests at work, here. So, while reading the newspaper, keep in mind:

Do not immediately assume that a piece on Swedish politics is true. However, do not dismiss it as a falsehood.
The kingdom is neither a failing state on the brink, where crime and violence is all-encompassing and the only thing that now matters is to revoke everything for the sake of a woke revenge upon the present.
Nor is it a shining exemplar of progress where all is well and splendid, smeared and calumniated by servants of dark forces within and beyond.

There are problems in legio, and many different interests lies in enlarging or diminishing these, depending on the reflexion they may cast on the parties involved. The image of the nation, and what must be done to preserve or expose it, will undoubtedly become a rather ugly question in the coming years.

As an example, I believe that a cinema once wished to include things such as the Bechel test in their general rating system, presumably to premier pictures that were better at representing their women characters. That, however, was presented here in the aether as a sort of state mandate, that all pictures were to be officially rated by feminist standards.
Mind you, my battered memory is unreliable, but I recall that misunderstanding to be most vexing. Then again, many who simply read the loud head-lines at the time did not seem to care much for a correction. It complemented their picture of the situation, and the correction was rather less snappy.

It is what happens.

As for the rest, I am still chomping the cud. For now, I shall say that I must agree; it cannot be forbidden to criticise or raise a grievance. It may well include a motion to ban or forbid the object in question, which can be met on its own, but a critique on its own? I disagree.

Of course, that is also a part of the reason why it should not be an immediate call for a ban, because it must also be possible to disagree with a criticism raised. Such as a critique should not be read as a demand for a ban, nor should an objection be read as a demand for silence.

One could say that there is an 'implicit' effort of a ban or redaction within a critique, but the terms are sufficiently vague to not build a premise thereupon, for where shall we go, if we thresh out implied wheat and throw assumed chaff? It is a dreary thing, and we have quite enough of it, I shall say.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 17:23
Well put, Reiter!

As for the "feminist snow-ploughing", small snowploughs made for footpaths are much cheaper to hire than large, broader ones made for traffic, and so the former were procured as a cost-cutting measure,
which some local politicians tried to dress up as "feminist" because fewer women are registered car owners, but it was derided by pretty much everyone in Sweden, including most prominent feminists.
It was a cost-cutting measure they would have done either way, dressed up in some progressive language in a failed bid for popularity points, largely derided and then fading into obscurity.
It's pretty ridiculous that it got traction abroad because politicians painting cost-cutting as a principled stance exists everywhere, they just use different rhetoric to fit different nations.

Basically, it's not a great idea to use third-hand accounts with clickbait headlines when talking about Sweden to native Swedes.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Snarky on 09 Mar 2021, 19:07
I'll just pitch in that if we wish to gender-balance the literature curriculum, one excellent way to do so would be more Katherine Mansfield.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 09 Mar 2021, 20:56
It was a cost-cutting measure they would have done either way, dressed up in some progressive language in a failed bid for popularity points, largely derided and then fading into obscurity.
It's pretty ridiculous that it got traction abroad because politicians painting cost-cutting as a principled stance exists everywhere, they just use different rhetoric to fit different nations.

Basically, it's not a great idea to use third-hand accounts with clickbait headlines when talking about Sweden to native Swedes.

That sound precisely like what I figured it was. They could have just done the normal thing and said the changes were made to improve efficiency and better serve the most people with available resources, but as we keep seeing Sweden has some weird fetish about appearing to be the most progressive nation on the Earth, which gives the Finnish media plenty to laugh about! Don't worry, Swedes: we love you for it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw3e64sosEg).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 09 Mar 2021, 21:01
That sound precisely like what I figured it was. They could have just done the normal thing and said the changes were made to improve efficiency and better serve the most people with available resources, but as we keep seeing Sweden has some weird fetish about appearing to be the most progressive nation on the Earth, which gives the Finnish media plenty to laugh about! Don't worry, Swedes: we love you for it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw3e64sosEg).
Really, you think caring about equality is, in your own words, "some weird fetish"? This really says it all about where you stand, doesn't it?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 09 Mar 2021, 23:02
I don't understand the issue, unless we believe that men have written better books than women, and that equal representation would mean replacing good books with worse books. Which, I think, is what people are actually afraid of.

My issue was choosing books based on anything else than their actual content. I can't fully speak for my biased subconscious, but I like to think I would be saying the same if the imbalance was reversed. I'd find it weird if I was given a book to read because it was written by a man, or denied a book because it was written by a woman - as if having a Y chromosome was some unique quality with intrinsic worth.

But I realize that's not the full picture. The imbalance seems to be bigger than I imagined, I'll be the first to agree that seeing the world through many different sets of eyes is important, and it's true that there are other arbitrary criteria which I take for granted (nationality). A quick google search gave me this: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/206631137.pdf (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/206631137.pdf), I'll probably check it out sooner or later. I'm in a place where I could easily be swayed to your side.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Mar 2021, 00:02
What I've seen of that essay looks interesting. If I were being generous about the standard conservative perspective on affirmative action, I'd say it seems to be rooted in the misanthropic view that there are very few great books and very few great people. And of the few greats we have, most are men. And great men (we tend to imagine) are society's engines of progress (winning battles and being captains of industry and whatnot).

So prioritising the voices of women, especially women of ethnic minority groups, is seen as profound risk. Because society already is pretty much fair, and great men are at the top because of their greatness. So raising up a woman means casting out a Great Man™, and what are the chances that she's really up to the job?

The tiny flaw in this understanding of reality being - to paraphrase Blackadder - that it's bollocks.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 07:18
Really, you think caring about equality is, in your own words, "some weird fetish"? This really says it all about where you stand, doesn't it?

As I've said, I am an egalitarian, and I care about equality. There is a difference between caring about something and doing what you can to promote it, and trying to paint every mundane action you take as being some grand crusade for equality and making a massive show out of it in order to get more attention.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 08:53
As I've said, I am an egalitarian, and I care about equality.
The way I've seen it used in practice, the phrase "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanitarian/equalist" virtually always means that you think the status quo is fine and any oppression western women face is made-up.
Or if you truly did care for equality, could you name and acknowledge any gendered injustice western women face or name anything you've done to further gender equality?
There is a difference between caring about something and doing what you can to promote it, and trying to paint every mundane action you take as being some grand crusade for equality and making a massive show out of it in order to get more attention.
Again, are politicians 100% honest in Finland? Has no Finnish politician ever dressed up cost-saving as something more palatable to the masses? And also, a great deal of cost-cutting is done in idiotic ways that just wind up more expensive in the
long run, and at least in Sweden, voters are pretty jaded to blatant penny-pinching, so politicians more or less have to give another political reason if they want to seem like good leaders. But the snow-plowing thing was something that only happened once,
most of the time, it's dressed up in talk of freedom of choice, future greatness, or how one expert they had said it was great.

This isn't some weird Swedish thing, just look at American politicians and how they paint any mundane legislation as a WAR, war on poverty, war on drugs, war on illiteracy, not necessarily because their leaders want to fight a literal war in those areas,
but because that's the rhetoric that goes home with US voters, but it feels like you're just trying to single out my homeland and paint my culture as bad right now, and you're blowing up a one-off event that's not even representative of Swedish politics as a whole.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 08:59
I don't understand the issue, unless we believe that men have written better books than women, and that equal representation would mean replacing good books with worse books. Which, I think, is what people are actually afraid of.

My issue was choosing books based on anything else than their actual content. I can't fully speak for my biased subconscious, but I like to think I would be saying the same if the imbalance was reversed. I'd find it weird if I was given a book to read because it was written by a man, or denied a book because it was written by a woman - as if having a Y chromosome was some unique quality with intrinsic worth.

But I realize that's not the full picture. The imbalance seems to be bigger than I imagined, I'll be the first to agree that seeing the world through many different sets of eyes is important, and it's true that there are other arbitrary criteria which I take for granted (nationality). A quick google search gave me this: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/206631137.pdf (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/206631137.pdf), I'll probably check it out sooner or later. I'm in a place where I could easily be swayed to your side.
It's great that you've found a research text on the study, I'll check it out when I find the time!  (nod)

This discussion reminds me of this article (https://inthesetimes.com/article/our-feminized-society), citing a study showing that if there are 17 percent women in a crowd, the men in the audience think it’s 50 – 50, and if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.
I'd say it's a pretty clear illustration of unconscious bias, and worth pondering on how it affects other views on women.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Mar 2021, 09:20
This discussion reminds me of this article (https://inthesetimes.com/article/our-feminized-society), citing a study showing that if there are 17 percent women in a crowd, the men in the audience think it’s 50 – 50, and if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.

In my field and social bubble, it's genuinely about 60 - 70% women. Most of my teachers have been women, most of my bosses have been women, some of the smartest people and worst sociopathic assholes - all women. The majority of anti-feminist rhetoric I've heard has come from women. So I hope you'll understand if I don't exactly see oppression on every corner in my day to day life.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 10 Mar 2021, 09:22
This discussion reminds me of this article (https://inthesetimes.com/article/our-feminized-society), citing a study showing that if there are 17 percent women in a crowd, the men in the audience think it’s 50 – 50, and if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.
I'd say it's a pretty clear illustration of unconscious bias, and worth pondering on how it affects other views on women.

Never heard of this before, but what I immediately wonder, is this only gender related thing or more generic psychological effect regarding anyone who a group of people see "different"? In other words, will the same happen with the groups of noticeably different ethniticies for instance.

In my field and social bubble, it's genuinely about 60 - 70% women. Most of my teachers have been women,

I think over 90% teachers in my school were women (and all or most of the head staff) :). In fact, I can barely remember seeing more than 3 male teachers same year.
Things were much different in university, however.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 09:28
Or if you truly did care for equality, could you name and acknowledge any gendered injustice western women face or name anything you've done to further gender equality?

I cannot really think of any injustices that western women face. From a legal standpoint, and at least within the justice systems I am familiar with, women are on equal terms with men and in many cases enjoy freedoms men do not (such as being freed from conscription in Finland, and being treated more gently when facing criminal prosecution for a wide variety of crimes). I would be most curious to hear one or two examples of what you consider injustices women face in western societies? Say, specifically, in the Nordic countries, since you and I are clearly most familiar with that region of the world.

The only issue in which I feel there is a debate left to be had is reproductive rights, and the right to abortion, but as the opinions on that topic are wide ranging and vary greatly from country to country and society to society, I feel I should only comment on that as far as my own country is involved. Ensuring the rights of both the mother and the father to the unborn child, let alone ensuring the rights of that unborn child, however, is a tricky business an very much depend on how we interpret the word "human" to begin with, so that is likely a conversation well beyond the scope of this thread. As always, I'll be happy to discuss elsewhere as well. My Discord and PM's are open.

As for what I do: I participate in the politics of my country by voting for candidates I feel best promote the interests of the Finnish people, which obviously includes both men and women, up to and including voting for a female presidential candidate in the last election we had (sadly, she lost). I promote meritocratic ideals where people should be rewarded and recruited based on their merit and ability, regardless of their gender. I also strive to promote female characters in the fiction I create, whether it be as protagonists or otherwise key characters of short stories I write, or in the games I develop.

Funny how this turned into "WHAM, prove your egalitarian credentials" somehow, but here we go.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 09:35
This discussion reminds me of this article (https://inthesetimes.com/article/our-feminized-society), citing a study showing that if there are 17 percent women in a crowd, the men in the audience think it’s 50 – 50, and if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.
I'd say it's a pretty clear illustration of unconscious bias, and worth pondering on how it affects other views on women.

Never heard of this before, but what I immediately wonder, is this only gender related thing or more generic psychological effect regarding anyone who a group of people see "different"? In other words, will the same happen with the groups of noticeably different ethniticies for instance.
I bet there is, just from the top of my head, I remember people complaining that the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast was too unrealistic, because in their words, "Half the villagers were black!,
when rewatching it and looking for visible black people though (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlY3CviQQ74), I could only see one black priest and maybe a handful in the far back of the crowd shots...
In my field and social bubble, it's genuinely about 60 - 70% women. Most of my teachers have been women,

I think over 90% teachers in my school were women (and all or most of the head staff) :). In fact, I can barely remember seeing more than 3 male teachers same year.
Things were much different in university, however.
It's similar in Sweden, I had many male teachers in the higher classes, teaching children is a female-dominated job, but it's also a very low-paying job here in Sweden, in large part due to being female-dominated.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 09:38
Funny how this turned into "WHAM, prove your egalitarian credentials" somehow, but here we go.
Because you keep saying that you are all for equality and women's rights, but then keep saying things directly antithetical to exactly that.

I've already tried to explain all this multiple times in this thread.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Mar 2021, 13:21
The thread has not turned into a demand for WHAM to show his egalitarian credentials, from the start it turned into "Blondbraid, prove sexism exists, because I just don't believe in it."

And you can say sexism (in the west) doesn't exist and then a moment later imply that men ought to have rights over an embryo inside a woman's body. This is incomprehensible to me, and seems totally incompatible with egalitarianism.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 16:25
And you can say sexism (in the west) doesn't exist and then a moment later imply that men ought to have rights over an embryo inside a woman's body. This is incomprehensible to me, and seems totally incompatible with egalitarianism.

How are equal rights between parents incompatible with egalitarianism? As there is a continued and increasing push to turn the process of raising children into an equal effort in order to free women from that particular burden and give them a fully equal footing in life, it seems to me that this should extend to all parts of a child's life.

I also notice that both times I've asked for examples of modern injustices toward women in a western society, or the Nordic countries more specifically, this question has gone unanswered.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Mar 2021, 16:34
Equal rights between parents is a great idea, but an embryo inside a woman is not the same as a child. The idea that either an embryo or a partner could have any "right" over a pregnant adult's body is completely incompatible with equality and personal freedom.

"Men and women should have an equal say over women's bodies," is not equality.

There are lots of injustices women face, Honza just posted an article giving relevant examples. We could look at the rate at which men kill women by contrast with the rate at which women kill men, but the purpose of a thread like this is not to convince you personally of a reality you will never accept.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 16:42
Equal rights between parents is a great idea, but an embryo inside a woman is not the same as a child.

Yeah, that's the other sticky subject of debate: at what point is that embryo a living human being. Alas, that topic will get us to travel down the abortion legality rabbit hole, and I am really not in the mood for that one today.

Men and women should not, in my opinion, have equal say over the womans body. That would be akin to slavery. But the father and mother should both have equal rights over their child, so the line is not quite as clear as one might think, as the aforementioned abortion debate has proven.

Killing is also very much against the law, so to speak of person on person violence as an injustice is true, but bringing gender into the matter seems extraneous to me. Violence against a woman is no more just or unjust than violence against a man, unless you're suggesting changing the laws to make one even more illegal, or harshly punished, than the other. Which in turn would mean we have to assign a measurable value to a mans life and a womans life, measured in how harsh the penalty is for damaging one over the other. Again, a sticky subject, at least if you consider equality among the genders.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Mar 2021, 16:51
bringing gender into the matter seems extraneous to me.

You don't say?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 17:22
WHAM, it seems you have no real arguments left for this topic, so you just tried to derail this thread by steering it towards the most inflammatory topics you could think of now,
with the crime and abortion talk. I and many others have already posted multiple links on the discrimination women still face, and how this is exuberated by
media promoting sexist stereotypes and discouraging empathy for women. You seem to play willfully obtuse at this point.

A woman is just as much a full human being as a man and women's human right's should not be up for debate, so don't treat it as one.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 18:04
So the argument for "women are treated unjustly by western society" boils down to "individual artists don't create art in the way we like it".

A woman is just as much a full human being as a man and women's human right's should not be up for debate, so don't treat it as one.

At no point have I treated human rights, for men or women, as being up for debate. They are not, nor should they be.
It is starting to feel rather humorous that you keep acting as if I did, though!

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always give a feminist an excuse to be offended."
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Mar 2021, 18:44
You are literally saying that women shouldn't have the final say in their own pregnancies. You're debating rights that women currently have in our countries, and it's taking the piss.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Scavenger on 10 Mar 2021, 19:42
much like we've seen in the whole LGBTTQQPPAA+ movements success in becoming mainstream in most of the civilized world in a few short decades.

Honestly it's this that makes me think that WHAM will never change their mind. Referring to the LGBT community as this ridiculous alphabet soup (by adding on letters etc, it's LGBTQIA+, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex Asexual +, each letter has an actual meaning.) is at best disrespectful and at worst actively contributing to the miasma of disbelief about people's identities.

Quote
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always give a feminist an excuse to be offended."
Also this, doing the ole "feminists are shrill and irrational in their complaints" bit.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 20:33
So the argument for "women are treated unjustly by western society" boils down to "individual artists don't create art in the way we like it".
I've been clear from the start that women are still discriminated against even in the west, AND it's made worse by the fact sexist media stereotypes makes the discrimination seem more acceptable to audiences,
NOT that it is the only form of discrimination they face, and there is a massive difference with complaining about structural sexism in media and personal dislike of an artwork for artistic reasons.
Quote
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always give a feminist an excuse to be offended."
Also this, doing the ole "feminists are shrill and irrational in their complaints" bit.
Exactly, it's a bullying tactic as old as time. You insult and belittle someone, and ignore everything they say about why they are insulted about it,
all so you can pretend to be cool and "rational" when they finally lose their patience.

WHAM, people here have repeatedly explained why the things you say are inflammatory and dehumanizing, do everyone a favor and stop trolling this thread.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Mar 2021, 22:01
How are equal rights between parents incompatible with egalitarianism? As there is a continued and increasing push to turn the process of raising children into an equal effort in order to free women from that particular burden and give them a fully equal footing in life, it seems to me that this should extend to all parts of a child's life.

At the risk of kindling an inflammatory subject - I can't think of any real-life situation where a man's claim to an unborn child overruling a woman's wouldn't lead to inhumane consequences. It's true that some men can develop an emotional connection to an unborn child and suffer from the loss, and women should be aware of this when making a decision. But it must be their decision.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 22:09
WHAM, people here have repeatedly explained why the things you say are inflammatory and dehumanizing, do everyone a favor and stop trolling this thread.

If you're looking for a private bubble where everyone blindly agrees with all you say and never challenges your views or ideas, then an open forum with everyone free to speak is probably not the right place.
I find the thread interesting, educating and in some parts most entertaining, and will be around if I see anything worth commenting on.

At the risk of kindling an inflammatory subject - I can't think of any real-life situation where a man's claim to an unborn child overruling a woman's wouldn't lead to inhumane consequences. It's true that some men can develop an emotional connection to an unborn child and suffer from the loss, and women should be aware of this when making a decision. But it must be their decision.

I quite agree. For instance, outside rare forms of cases involving violent crime, I see no situation where a man could, for example, will their partner to terminate an unborn child against the mothers wishes. However, for the sake of equality in the eyes of the law, I think there are some cases where that right to terminate, if the father opposes it and there was no crime involved, should be restricted until there is a mutual agreement or there is a natural solution to the matter.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 10 Mar 2021, 22:15
I quite agree. For instance, outside rare forms of cases involving violent crime, I see no situation where a man could, for example, will their partner to terminate an unborn child against the mothers wishes. However, for the sake of equality in the eyes of the law, I think there are some cases where that right to terminate, if the father opposes it and there was no crime involved, should be restricted until there is a mutual agreement or there is a natural solution to the matter.

Wait a minute, are we talking about effectively forcing a woman to carry a child to term against her will? Because that's pretty much what I meant by "inhumane consequences".
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 22:24
This all comes back around to the whole legality-of-abortion question, to which there are varied different answers around the world, and thus no single right answer. The easy answer would be to just say "the mother has 100% control" and that's that, but it shuts out both the rights of the father to their mutually conceived child, as well as the rights of the child itself, if handled so simplistically. I used to be open to the idea of unrestricted abortion for women when I was younger, but have since read up more on the matter and now find it a far less simple a matter, and thus am no longer quite so open to the idea.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 10 Mar 2021, 22:37
WHAM, people here have repeatedly explained why the things you say are inflammatory and dehumanizing, do everyone a favor and stop trolling this thread.

If you're looking for a private bubble where everyone blindly agrees with all you say and never challenges your views or ideas, then an open forum with everyone free to speak is probably not the right place.
I find the thread interesting, educating and in some parts most entertaining, and will be around if I see anything worth commenting on.
You've basically spent all your time here trying to steer the conversation into inflammatory subjects and demanding proof that oppression exists whilst ignoring all links and explanations given to you.
And having a forum thread where people stay on topic IS NOT the same thing as an echo chamber.
I quite agree. For instance, outside rare forms of cases involving violent crime, I see no situation where a man could, for example, will their partner to terminate an unborn child against the mothers wishes. However, for the sake of equality in the eyes of the law, I think there are some cases where that right to terminate, if the father opposes it and there was no crime involved, should be restricted until there is a mutual agreement or there is a natural solution to the matter.

Wait a minute, are we talking about effectively forcing a woman to carry a child to term against her will? Because that's pretty much what I meant by "inhumane consequences".
Exactly. Plus note how WHAM was huge on using "biological" arguments when it suited his stereotypes (https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=ttbe07oi020ugsgoadgi3frg6k&topic=58758.msg636631330#msg636631330), but now, when there is a clear biological difference that weighs against his ideas, he ignores it. A woman has to gestate a fetus for months within her own body in order to carry a pregnancy to term, all a man has to do in order to conceive a child is to have sex; therefore it's absurd to argue that the father and mother should have equal say in the issue when only one of them is risking their life and health in a painful and risky process.

And the words "if there was no crime involved" is classical Republican weasel words, conservatives use it to basically imply that it's OK for rape victims to have an abortion, but women who consent to sex should be punished for their loose ways by being forced to carry pregnancies to term and suffer for it.
This all comes back around to the whole legality-of-abortion question, to which there are varied different answers around the world, and thus no single right answer. The easy answer would be to just say "the mother has 100% control" and that's that, but it shuts out both the rights of the father to their mutually conceived child, as well as the rights of the child itself, if handled so simplistically. I used to be open to the idea of unrestricted abortion for women when I was younger, but have since read up more on the matter and now find it a far less simple a matter, and thus am no longer quite so open to the idea.
Again, my right to my body should not be up for debate. And in countries where women's rights are taken away, the rights of LGBT people and other minorities often follow alongside them.

Stop derailing this thread with your crypto-fascist garbage.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 22:48
If there is a stage in the life of a child where the mother has a right to shut out the father and make calls on their own, then wouldn't that be a prime example of inequality between the genders?

Finland is currently just processing a major legal case regarding a loosely related situation, that this conversation has just reminded me of. A married couple conceived a child up to the age of over a year old, and only after that point did the mother admit she'd cheated and the child was not the husbands. This was later proven via a DNA test as well. However, due to how the law is written here, the father is now hooked up to the child and has to pay for its upbringing up to the age of 18, because he did not think to dispute his fatherhood early enough in the child's life.

If, prior or during the pregnancy, the mother makes decisions that the father disagrees with, the law always comes down on the side of the mother. Want to terminate an unborn child even if the father wishes to raise it? Tough luck, mother has her rights. Want to carry a child to term despite the father not wanting it? While I'd agree the father would have no right to demand termination, the law still says the father has to pay up because the child is his. Want to cheat, bring some other mans child into the marriage and hook the husband up to pay for its upbringing? Go for it, as long as you don't get caught too early!

If the goal was equality between the two genders, then this all seems rather skewed one way. Small wonder western societies are having less and less children on their own...

EDIT: Also, a wonderful apples-to-oranges comparison there.
I previously made the point that the way people create entertainment is based on biological principals, and somehow that is then read to mean I think laws should be written as unequal because of those same principals as well, when I've specifically pointed out that law and culture are two very different things.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 10 Mar 2021, 23:03
"I believe in equality, but men should be allowed to force women to bring pregnancies to term." If this is your actual belief, I find it terrifying and appalling. If it's not, then you're a disingenuous troll.

EDIT: I've edited the swearing out of this reply - out of respect for the forum rules, and not out of respect for WHAM.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Dualnames on 10 Mar 2021, 23:16
First off, let me say trans rights are human rights.

Secondly, even though personally I disagree with abortion, I think disallowing that choice to a woman is pure discrimination and a denial of a right. I find myself against abortion, morally for personal reasons, but that doesn't mean I'll go out and disable any woman from having the final say to her body. Whether we like it or not, a woman is gonna go through 9 months of that. She needs to have the option to choose not to. Otherwise we'll end up being obligated to have unwanted childs and we'll be oppressing women. That's far worse.

Bringing up arguments such as "men are not always treated equal" is imho a silly argument. Cause I mean, why doesn't a man get a paternity leave, lol, be serious.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: WHAM on 10 Mar 2021, 23:30
Cause I mean, why doesn't a man get a paternity leave, lol, be serious.

Men do get paternity leave, although it was just renamed to parental leave. The number of leave days are split 50-50 between both parents, unless they themselves agree to redistribute them differently.

If this is your actual belief, I find it terrifying and appalling. If it's not, then you're a disingenuous troll.

I do not believe any human being has the right to kill another human being, and I find it terrifying and appalling that is a stance you seem to disagree with. I won't go so low as to accuse you of being a troll, however. I just consider you too prideful to accept that there might be any flaws in your worldview.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: LimpingFish on 11 Mar 2021, 00:06
(https://media1.tenor.com/images/1812d0a79d0c4089be87e8e836c1c633/tenor.gif)

MOD MODE INITIATED!

Let's all pause for a moment, and, I dunno, remember the board rules?

WHAM, I don't know how invested you are in your arguments, but you're doing a very good impression of someone deliberately taking the piss. If you intend to continue contributing to this thread, it might be a good idea to reconsider the manner in which you air your opinions.

Circular reasoning is not debate. If an argument is challenged, and your only riposte is deliberately fallacious, then it's not a strong argument. You are entitled to your views, just as Ali and Blondbraid are entitled to call you out on them, but if you are intentionally provoking people, perhaps in an attempt to deflect having to backup your views with cohesive arguments, I'd suggest refraining from further posting on the matter.

Ali, Blondbraid, your frustration is understandable and acknowledged, but perhaps momentarily taking a step back will prove mentally beneficial.

EDIT: Edited for clarity.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 11 Mar 2021, 00:59
At the risk of kindling an inflammatory subject -

Sorry, everyone.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 11 Mar 2021, 08:10
To everyone stepping in and speaking up against this blatant sexism:
(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/EnchantingExemplaryHoverfly-max-1mb.gif)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 17 Mar 2021, 11:39
I didn't respond to this some time back, and maybe it could bring it back to the original topic:

I think many people have a blind spot on this because society treats men as the default in lots of situations, for example, an all-female cast with only one token guy in a film or book is exceptionally rare,
but stories with an all-male cast and just one woman are a dime a dozen and not treated as weird.

Well, yeah :/. These are some shows I liked as a kid:

(https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/disney/images/d/dc/RescueRangersAway.jpg)(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/19/Characters_Uchuusen_Sagittarius.jpg/306px-Characters_Uchuusen_Sagittarius.jpg)(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1c/3e/a5/1c3ea53c5dfef3836a92dd0983381dbf.gif)

And of course this :):
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/XoEWNod7fY9fBnYQqSnerdnuTHFdvOYcSwTMujMsJZACe3LsuCM7iW0vQ1KmBljGLMgGHJrG-Bg7mPINv33Egt_5gzIi8ib29QR1eV89SmUEb-dF7sRKGj39zuN9ZcoOJY89zIA41vNxkdY2a8KOk6YAEAwMfZ925A7PoNZ5KSfFt9ujgYs946RL)

The unfortunate consequence of this is that when you make a male character, he's just that: an individual character. But a female character is seen as a representation of women in general.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 17 Mar 2021, 20:52
Is there an image missing in your reply? ???

But you're spot on, and what's worse, while some of the token girls, like Gadget in the pic above, at least has some unique personality traits and bring their own skills to the group,
too many token girls literally just have "girl" as their only personality trait, and only talk about liking pink, romance, acting like a mommy to the boys, and nearly all episodes focusing
on her character will be about somebody falling in love with her, and/or kidnapping her or about her becoming a surrogate mom for some creature.

Plus I've noted a visual theme of when it's anthropomorphic animals, the girl will often look way more like a pretty human than her male compatriots, human hair, more of a white human skin tone, and a more human-shaped face in general.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 17 Mar 2021, 20:57
Is there an image missing in your reply? ???

I see all of them... it's supposed to be Rescue Rangers, Spaceship Sagittarius, Ninja Turtles, Smurfs.

Plus I've noted a visual theme of when it's anthropomorphic animals, the girl will often look way more like a pretty human than her male compatriots, human hair, more of a white human skin tone, and a more human-shaped face in general.

I suppose that's because the man being the default, it's somewhat asexual. When you then want to build on that default to make it more feminine, there are no "masculine" features to remove... you just add "feminine" ones, making it look more like a human woman.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 17 Mar 2021, 21:35
Is there an image missing in your reply? ???

I see all of them... it's supposed to be Rescue Rangers, Spaceship Sagittarius, Ninja Turtles, Smurfs.
I don't see the Smurf picture. I don't know if anyone else sees it either.
Plus I've noted a visual theme of when it's anthropomorphic animals, the girl will often look way more like a pretty human than her male compatriots, human hair, more of a white human skin tone, and a more human-shaped face in general.

I suppose that's because the man being the default, it's somewhat asexual. When you then want to build on that default to make it more feminine, there are no "masculine" features to remove... you just add "feminine" ones, making it look more like a human woman.
That's a great point, though I also think the need of many animators to make all main female characters pretty plays a role too, similar to how an animated guy supposed to be an "everyman" will be drawn to look different than a typical Disney prince, but animated girls and women meant to be regular people still look like typical Disney princesses, to the point even female animals will share the same facial shape as the princesses.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 18 Mar 2021, 00:29
What you're talking about is particularly noticeable in The Animator's Survival Kit. If anyone hasn't got it, it's a marvellous and incredibly useful guide to character animation by Richard Williams (the animation director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit). It's concerned with capturing and exaggerating the way different people move, but it also reproduces tropes and stereotypes - how a homosexual man walks, or the "flapping ancient breasts" of an old woman jogging. It's based, in part, on observation (I guess Italians do tend to talk with their hands...). And caricature is rarely kind to its subjects. But it's a reminder that the conventions of animation reflect the (mostly) men who established those conventions.

I guess Jessica Rabbit is a bit of a have-your-cake-and-eat it ironic take on sexual objectification - she's not bad, she's "just drawn that way."
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: TheFrighter on 18 Mar 2021, 08:01

 (I guess Italians do tend to talk with their hands...)

Fun thing there are a lot of italian old jokes about jews that talking with their hands!

But I think we are more awesome when we do it!  (laugh)

_
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 18 Mar 2021, 08:59
I guess Jessica Rabbit is a bit of a have-your-cake-and-eat it ironic take on sexual objectification - she's not bad, she's "just drawn that way."
She's one of the few examples that I think work, because she still comes across as a fully realized character, and her relationship to Roger Rabbitt feels genuinely heartwarming.

As a contrast, too many animated comedies has female characters that are nothing but crude fanservice, but tries to pretend it's parody, pretty much Poe's Law in action.

And yeah, I don't remember the Animator's toolkit specifically, because I've seen so many "how to draw and stylize" tutorials with a great deal of tips on how to draw a variety of male characters in interesting ways that serve the story,
but when it comes to female characters I just felt uncomfortable at the creepy leering way the author described drawing them, and heavily sexualized picture examples too. I still remember when I was starting learning AGS several years ago
and one of the art tutorials linked on the main page back then used an animated image of a naked woman using a jumping rope as an example picture, I felt uncomfortable and nearly lost interest in trying to learn to use the engine when
that's was the first tutorial I saw linked on the main page. I'm glad that stuff doesn't seem to be up there anymore.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 22 Mar 2021, 01:33
That's a great point, though I also think the need of many animators to make all main female characters pretty plays a role too, similar to how an animated guy supposed to be an "everyman" will be drawn to look different than a typical Disney prince, but animated girls and women meant to be regular people still look like typical Disney princesses, to the point even female animals will share the same facial shape as the princesses.

Yeah, I try to vary the types of women I draw and steer clear of blatant stereotypes, but it's true that I also have the tendency to make men more goofy and heavily caricatured, while women are more often at least *somewhat* pretty. It's something I'm happy to avoid though (note to self: make more ugly, silly-looking women :)). I wonder if female artists also do this - it seems to me that they do.

What you're talking about is particularly noticeable in The Animator's Survival Kit. If anyone hasn't got it, it's a marvellous and incredibly useful guide to character animation by Richard Williams (the animation director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit).

Thanks for the tip, might check out the book - I think I've used some online images taken from it as a reference for walkcycles.

As a contrast, too many animated comedies has female characters that are nothing but crude fanservice, but tries to pretend it's parody, pretty much Poe's Law in action.

This is just an irrelevant nitpick, but isn't Poe's Law supposed to be about misunderstanding genuine parody?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Mar 2021, 08:01
That's a great point, though I also think the need of many animators to make all main female characters pretty plays a role too, similar to how an animated guy supposed to be an "everyman" will be drawn to look different than a typical Disney prince, but animated girls and women meant to be regular people still look like typical Disney princesses, to the point even female animals will share the same facial shape as the princesses.

Yeah, I try to vary the types of women I draw and steer clear of blatant stereotypes, but it's true that I also have the tendency to make men more goofy and heavily caricatured, while women are more often at least *somewhat* pretty. It's something I'm happy to avoid though (note to self: make more ugly, silly-looking women :)). I wonder if female artists also do this - it seems to me that they do.
You already seem to be doing well in that regard!  :)

But it's true that female artists do this too, since nearly all cartoons and animated media features women with a very narrow set of facial features and a Disney princess look, many people sadly seem to think that's the only way to draw women.
This blog post (https://turbomun.tumblr.com/post/80012362197/in-october-of-2012-i-was-enrolled-in-one-of-my) has a pretty well-written analysis about a female artist who realized she was doing it when pointed out to her, and goes on to explore why that is.

As for Poe's Law, I thought it was about a serious work being so ridiculous it was indistinguishable from parody, but I admit I was going off from the top of my head when writing that.

I still think there are plenty of examples of artists defending bad works as "it's parody" though, not only in regards to sexism but for example, Tommy Wiseau claiming that "The Room" was
meant to be a comedy all along when people were laughing at the bad acting and weird script in his drama film.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Cassiebsg on 22 Mar 2021, 20:11
Tommy Wiseau claiming that "The Room" was
meant to be a comedy all along when people were laughing at the bad acting and weird script in his drama film.

If you can't beat them, join them...  (laugh)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 22 Mar 2021, 21:10
But it's true that female artists do this too, since nearly all cartoons and animated media features women with a very narrow set of facial features and a Disney princess look, many people sadly seem to think that's the only way to draw women.
This blog post (https://turbomun.tumblr.com/post/80012362197/in-october-of-2012-i-was-enrolled-in-one-of-my) has a pretty well-written analysis about a female artist who realized she was doing it when pointed out to her, and goes on to explore why that is.

This is kind of funny, because when blog author compares villains and sais that they are more diverse, I on contrary see that they have mostly similar facial features (eye shape, mouth, facial expression), different mostly in fatness and skin colour; only exception is Frollo from "Notre Dame" (but then maybe it's a matter of finding a different scene where he looks more in tone with others).
And when she sais that "two male leads of Frozen look quite different", they look pretty similar to me. I mean, their eyes, chins, and facial expressions are practically copy/paste; maybe it's only that one has rounder face and wider nose?

On another hand seeing the comparison of early "frozen" character sketches to their final look makes me sad.
Disney surely love sticking to the stock character looks.
(But then, the last Disney "princess" cartoon I've seen was "Tangled" probably)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Mar 2021, 22:43
But it's true that female artists do this too, since nearly all cartoons and animated media features women with a very narrow set of facial features and a Disney princess look, many people sadly seem to think that's the only way to draw women.
This blog post (https://turbomun.tumblr.com/post/80012362197/in-october-of-2012-i-was-enrolled-in-one-of-my) has a pretty well-written analysis about a female artist who realized she was doing it when pointed out to her, and goes on to explore why that is.

This is kind of funny, because when blog author compares villains and sais that they are more diverse, I on contrary see that they have mostly similar facial features (eye shape, mouth, facial expression), different mostly in fatness and skin colour; only exception is Frollo from "Notre Dame" (but then maybe it's a matter of finding a different scene where he looks more in tone with others).
And when she sais that "two male leads of Frozen look quite different", they look pretty similar to me. I mean, their eyes, chins, and facial expressions are practically copy/paste; maybe it's only that one has rounder face and wider nose?

On another hand seeing the comparison of early "frozen" character sketches to their final look makes me sad.
Disney surely love sticking to the stock character looks.
(But then, the last Disney "princess" cartoon I've seen was "Tangled" probably)
Well, the Disney villains have different nose shapes, jaw shapes and overall head shapes, and I don't see any big similarities outside of their "evil grin" facial expression. You gotta admit you could still tell them apart if they swapped costumes, right?

Meanwhile, the three female main characters in Frozen looked like this:
(https://data.whicdn.com/images/118740626/original.jpg)

Also, Disney even took existing female characters, and made them less diverse when they gave them a CGI makeover for Wreck it Ralph 2, (https://brightside.me/wonder-films/why-disney-started-to-create-identical-female-characters-and-what-it-can-lead-to-795304/) and the same goes for all the more recent marketing images of the princesses.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 22 Mar 2021, 23:42
I was not arguing with your point, but made a casual observation on how these Disney characters look similar in general. Yes, they look pretty similar to me; it may be a subjective impression too. It looked even funnier that they are grouped in pairs (two first female(?) villains and then a female villain and Jaffar have a lot in common in their facial shapes).
Don't know whether or not I could tell them apart in other circumstances, besides I don't know these characters very well. But that's not really important.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 22 Mar 2021, 23:52
I was not arguing with your point, but made a casual observation on how these Disney characters look similar in general. Yes, they look pretty similar to me; it may be a subjective impression too. Don't know whether or not I could tell them apart in other circumstances, besides I don't know these characters very well. But that's not really important.
Ok, I still don't really see how you think they are that visually similar apart from the typical evil smile and half-closed eyes. The red queen and Ursula both have chubby chins, but that's about the only thing those two have in common.

What would you consider a good example of clearly different character designs?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 23 Mar 2021, 00:20
Disney characters look similar because they are only interested in making money. So if Elsa is successful in bringing money, they will make every character look like Elsa because that's how they will make more money. And if there are similarities between villains it is because they identified those are the villains that are making money.

Disney doesn't worth the conversations people have about them. They're just an awful and toxic organization that would do anything and its contrary for the sole purpose of making money. Don't talk about them like they are anything else than a big money machine. Everything they do has the same explanation: it was the best way to make money. Everything else about Disney is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 23 Mar 2021, 00:49
Ok, I still don't really see how you think they are that visually similar apart from the typical evil smile and half-closed eyes. The red queen and Ursula both have chubby chins, but that's about the only thing those two have in common.

Well, I am not an artist; also I was talking about impression, of course was not comparing these faces mathematically. Plus this is very much offtopic, and I already wonder if I made a mistake posting this.
But if I am to explain further, these pairs of villains have similar "image" to me in general. First their facial shapes, eyes and mouths look similar. Then their posture and common facial expression too, which is imo an integral part of a character in cartoon (e.g. the Disney "princesses" also seem to very similar set of expressions at least lately).
One mistake I made is comparing Jaffar and Cruella, their facial shape seemed quite similar on the given screenshot because of the Jaffar's smile, increasing the effect, but on screenshots made in different scene one can see that Jaffar has of course got much longer face when he's not smiling (looking at Jafar from other pics made me think they drew him from a camel... maybe it's a real fact...). But on that particular pair of screenshots they look like some kind of spiritual twins to me. Difference in noses, for example, is less important in this context imo, because they blend into rest of an image.


The "frozen"'s male characters posted there look just too much same to me, although of course I realize they have different "weight" to their faces, and different hairstyle, but... don't know how to explain better... imagining overlaying them on each other I see practically same face. It's like they made a "typical good guy" face, then stretched it to create a second character.
Maybe I need to watch these two in action where their expressions change according to situation to unsee this.


What would you consider a good example of clearly different character designs?

Erm... well, the sketches from the "Frozen" posted on the same blog. The first pair is kind of crazy, and frankly I could not believe it was drawn by Disney artists. Guess this is a stereotype in action too... but of course they are all real people with their personal art styles. Second pair seems closer to Disney style, and it's not only that they maybe look differently by face (maybe, as it's not easy for me to tell by the sketch), but also their style and expression are different, imho this all integrates in a character's "image" in cartoon.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 23 Mar 2021, 08:42
Disney characters look similar because they are only interested in making money. So if Elsa is successful in bringing money, they will make every character look like Elsa because that's how they will make more money. And if there are similarities between villains it is because they identified those are the villains that are making money.

Disney doesn't worth the conversations people have about them. They're just an awful and toxic organization that would do anything and its contrary for the sole purpose of making money. Don't talk about them like they are anything else than a big money machine. Everything they do has the same explanation: it was the best way to make money. Everything else about Disney is irrelevant.
Well, Disney also used to make a lot of money on films featuring racial caricatures, but stopped including those designs in their later films when enough people called them out on it.

Crimson Wizard: I think there's a difference in having similar expressions and similar faces. And the villains do change expressions in their respective films, if anything, they're often having more different expressions than the heroes.

As for the differences in the male main characters in Frozen, I will agree that that image in the post made them look similar, but they do look more distinct in the film, just look at these gifs:
(https://64.media.tumblr.com/11d3ac32d9bdabce049c5e79fa97ff2a/tumblr_n3n1nznJ2q1tqqihyo1_500.gifv)(https://i.gifer.com/NQOB.gif)

Now compare those two to the two female protagonists:
(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/PinkCreepyBurro-small.gif)
And they don't even change faces from when they are toddlers in the prologue of the film!
(https://savethecat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Frozen-Young-Anna-Elsa.jpg)
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 23 Mar 2021, 09:21

Well, Disney also used to make a lot of money on films featuring racial caricatures, but stopped including those designs in their later films when enough people called them out on it.



No, they stopped doing racial caricatures because racial caricatures stopped bringing money and could actually cost money. 

Elsa and Anna are sisters so it kinda makes sense they would look similar. But I still agree with you that they have a lot of princesses looking alike. But again, it's not a statement on women, it's because they know that's how they'll make money.

You are giving Disney way too much credit. And probably too much attention as well. Disney does not have the bravery to create trends, they follow them once they are deemed profitable enough. If you ever see Disney doing something progressive it is not because they genuinely support it, it is because it has become a better way to make money. Thus it means that trend is already established by other people who were more brave and less greedy than them. These should receive praise and attention, not Disney.

They are filthy and should not be granted so much attention in the first place. The way we will stop looking at them as if they were some sort of important cultural landmark we will have done a great progress in humanity.


Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Ali on 23 Mar 2021, 10:08
No, they stopped doing racial caricatures because racial caricatures stopped bringing money and could actually cost money. 

I don't know that this is accurate. Aladdin had several edits after it's release in response to criticism. (Not in terms of character design, which obviously, wouldn't be possible.) Similarly, no longer releasing Song of the South can't be said to have made them any money, but it has saved them from (I would say, valid) criticism. No one's praising Disney for doing the bare minimum, here.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 23 Mar 2021, 20:37
No, they stopped doing racial caricatures because racial caricatures stopped bringing money and could actually cost money. 

I don't know that this is accurate. Aladdin had several edits after it's release in response to criticism. (Not in terms of character design, which obviously, wouldn't be possible.) Similarly, no longer releasing Song of the South can't be said to have made them any money, but it has saved them from (I would say, valid) criticism. No one's praising Disney for doing the bare minimum, here.
Indeed.
They are filthy and should not be granted so much attention in the first place. The way we will stop looking at them as if they were some sort of important cultural landmark we will have done a great progress in humanity.
Even if you think so, ignoring Disney will not make it go away, and it has had a huge cultural impact on western society whether you want it or not, and right now the best we can do as individuals is to call them out on problematic depictions to make them improve, even if Disney's just improving that stuff in order to avoid criticism.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 24 Mar 2021, 00:47
Crimson Wizard: I think there's a difference in having similar expressions and similar faces. And the villains do change expressions in their respective films, if anything, they're often having more different expressions than the heroes.

Sure thing. But I can assure you that there's no need to tell me this. I even feel akward having to discuss this, so much this is silly.
Speaking freely, it often seems like you think people are arguing with you unless they explicitly state they agree in their post. But I've already said before that was not arguing with your point. Of course I saw these princess characters are same (maybe using same 3D model).
I made a casual observation on how other Disney characters look similar, which seemed funny to me, in general and in context of that article. I tried to explain why, but that is really irrelevant, and in retrospect was not necessary. You are discussing serious things here and guess my comment was out of place. So, I apologize if this caused distraction.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 24 Mar 2021, 01:27
Even if you think so, ignoring Disney will not make it go away, and it has had a huge cultural impact on western society whether you want it or not,


There is no such thing as "western world". Your use of this term is cultural appropriation and ethnocentrism. This "western world" you are talking about includes plenty of rich and independent cultures that have nothing to do whatsoever with Anglo/Nordic/Protestant people and it is not appropriate of you to speak in their name. If you actually knew about these cultures you would know that in most of them, my opinion of Disney being a tacky entertainment of secondary importance is often the norm, and they do not see Disney as so omnipotent.

and right now the best we can do as individuals is to call them out on problematic depictions to make them improve, even if Disney's just improving that stuff in order to avoid criticism.

So you believe individuals can change the world's views on society, gender, and minorities; but you don't believe individuals can change the world's view on a greedy corporation having too much control?

The best we can do as individuals is not enabling Disney further into their dominance by giving them the feedback they need to improve their marketing and comfort their position. The best we can do is spreading more awareness of how problematic it is that one massive company has such a weight and ensure it is not enduring.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Honza on 24 Mar 2021, 02:01
You are giving Disney way too much credit. And probably too much attention as well. Disney does not have the bravery to create trends, they follow them once they are deemed profitable enough. If you ever see Disney doing something progressive it is not because they genuinely support it, it is because it has become a better way to make money. Thus it means that trend is already established by other people who were more brave and less greedy than them. These should receive praise and attention, not Disney.

I don't know much about Disney's agenda (I just keep hearing they're evil, mostly from youtube critics), but you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. However power-hungry they may be, they still employ some genuinely talented, creative people. I loved The Lion King as a kid and I think they took some risks with that one, the death scene especially. I still have a soft spot for it, it's one of the things that got me into animation. Also Aladdin by the way, especially the platformer based on it - I would constantly pause it to see each animation frame :).
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: FormosaFalanster on 24 Mar 2021, 02:37
You are giving Disney way too much credit. And probably too much attention as well. Disney does not have the bravery to create trends, they follow them once they are deemed profitable enough. If you ever see Disney doing something progressive it is not because they genuinely support it, it is because it has become a better way to make money. Thus it means that trend is already established by other people who were more brave and less greedy than them. These should receive praise and attention, not Disney.

I don't know much about Disney's agenda (I just keep hearing they're evil, mostly from youtube critics), but you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. However power-hungry they may be, they still employ some genuinely talented, creative people. I loved The Lion King as a kid and I think they took some risks with that one, the death scene especially. I still have a soft spot for it, it's one of the things that got me into animation. Also Aladdin by the way, especially the platformer based on it - I would constantly pause it to see each animation frame :).

true but sadly that was a long time ago  :( Walt Disney himself was a great person and he was actually very daring and willing to experiment. That's how he was successful in the first place. But he is long gone. Disney as we know it today, 25 years after the Lion King, is much different.

Look at the last time they experimented with something new: the design of Hercules or the whole Treasure Planet thing. They made less money, so they stopped. Now everything they do smells like analytics and marketing. They had a strong commercial streak for a long time but now that's all they are about.

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 24 Mar 2021, 08:11
Crimson Wizard: I think there's a difference in having similar expressions and similar faces. And the villains do change expressions in their respective films, if anything, they're often having more different expressions than the heroes.

Sure thing. But I can assure you that there's no need to tell me this. I even feel akward having to discuss this, so much this is silly.
Speaking freely, it often seems like you think people are arguing with you unless they explicitly state they agree in their post. But I've already said before that was not arguing with your point. Of course I saw these princess characters are same (maybe using same 3D model).
I made a casual observation on how other Disney characters look similar, which seemed funny to me, in general and in context of that article. I tried to explain why, but that is really irrelevant, and in retrospect was not necessary. You are discussing serious things here and guess my comment was out of place. So, I apologize if this caused distraction.
I'm sorry if any of my replies came off as confrontational, I didn't mean it to be. I was merely curious as to what similarities you saw and trying to elaborate my point, and I have no problem with anything you've said here.
One of the downsides of text communication is that it's harder to gauge what tone one is giving off.  :-\
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Blondbraid on 24 Mar 2021, 08:21
There is no such thing as "western world". Your use of this term is cultural appropriation and ethnocentrism. This "western world" you are talking about includes plenty of rich and independent cultures that have nothing to do whatsoever with Anglo/Nordic/Protestant people and it is not appropriate of you to speak in their name. If you actually knew about these cultures you would know that in most of them, my opinion of Disney being a tacky entertainment of secondary importance is often the norm, and they do not see Disney as so omnipotent.
Really?
This is literally the first time ever that I had heard anyone having a problem with "the western world". It's a pretty well-established concept (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_culture), but also, I'd say that when I've travelled to different countries,
I did see more cultural similarities in Spain, Germany and the USA than I did between India, Thailand and Nepal, especially in terms of what media was consumed and advertised.

Plus it's commonly understood that "the west" is more about culture than geographical markers (like how Australia often counts in, but Eastern Europe don't).
You are giving Disney way too much credit. And probably too much attention as well. Disney does not have the bravery to create trends, they follow them once they are deemed profitable enough. If you ever see Disney doing something progressive it is not because they genuinely support it, it is because it has become a better way to make money. Thus it means that trend is already established by other people who were more brave and less greedy than them. These should receive praise and attention, not Disney.

I don't know much about Disney's agenda (I just keep hearing they're evil, mostly from youtube critics), but you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. However power-hungry they may be, they still employ some genuinely talented, creative people. I loved The Lion King as a kid and I think they took some risks with that one, the death scene especially. I still have a soft spot for it, it's one of the things that got me into animation. Also Aladdin by the way, especially the platformer based on it - I would constantly pause it to see each animation frame :).

true but sadly that was a long time ago  :( Walt Disney himself was a great person and he was actually very daring and willing to experiment. That's how he was successful in the first place. But he is long gone. Disney as we know it today, 25 years after the Lion King, is much different.

Look at the last time they experimented with something new: the design of Hercules or the whole Treasure Planet thing. They made less money, so they stopped. Now everything they do smells like analytics and marketing. They had a strong commercial streak for a long time but now that's all they are about.


And that's why, to me, I'd rather get people to set higher standards for their Disney entertainment to try and get them to go back to the artistic ideas that made them create timeless classics than do away with Disney entirely.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Laura Hunt on 24 Mar 2021, 14:08
There is no such thing as "western world". Your use of this term is cultural appropriation and ethnocentrism. This "western world" you are talking about includes plenty of rich and independent cultures that have nothing to do whatsoever with Anglo/Nordic/Protestant people and it is not appropriate of you to speak in their name. If you actually knew about these cultures you would know that in most of them, my opinion of Disney being a tacky entertainment of secondary importance is often the norm, and they do not see Disney as so omnipotent.
Really?
This is literally the first time ever that I had heard anyone having a problem with "the western world". It's a pretty well-established concept (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_culture), but also, I'd say that when I've travelled to different countries,
I did see more cultural similarities in Spain, Germany and the USA than I did between India, Thailand and Nepal, especially in terms of what media was consumed and advertised.

Cultural similarities between Germany and Spain? LMAO. As a Spaniard who has lived in Germany for 12 years, I can assure you that is absolute bullshit. Culture goes WAY beyond which media gets "consumed and advertised", and you can't possibly have the slightest grasp on the differences between two cultures by spending a few days in a country, especially if you don't speak the language. Such statements are not just frivolous, but actually insulting, especially towards immigrants like me who have to bear the full brunt of xenophobia, cultural stereotyping and discrimination towards Southern Europeans/Mediterraneans that those of us who are trying to build a new life here experience. Stay on your lane.
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Snarky on 24 Mar 2021, 15:41
I have family who live in both Germany and Spain (and some who have lived both places), and of course there are cultural similarities. There are aspects of German culture (in some regions, anyway) that are more similar to Spanish culture than to, say, Scandinavian culture. (I'm thinking of things like Catholicism, aspects of academia and the role of public intellectuals in media discourse, and lots of small things like even the sort of magazines that are sold.)

That's not to say that there aren't also differences, but these things are all relative. Is German and Spanish culture as different as German and Bangladeshi culture, for example? Do you think you face as much discrimination as an immigrant from outside "the western world"?
Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
Post by: Laura Hunt on 24 Mar 2021, 16:38
I have family who live in both Germany and Spain (and some who have lived both places), and of course there are cultural similarities. There are aspects of German culture (in some regions, anyway) that are more similar to Spanish culture than to, say, Scandinavian culture. (I'm thinking of things like Catholicism, aspects of academia and the role of public intellectuals in media discourse, and lots of small things like even the sort of magazines that are sold.)

Most of Germany is Protestant, and the legacy of Communism in East Germany, where I live, makes religion almost irrelevant in everyday life. Only the South is mostly Catholic, and the flavour of Catholicism there has little to do with the one you find in countries like Spain or Italy, with our bloody saints, virgins, processions and obsession with sin and guilt. And again, things like "the sort of magazines that are sold" have little to do with understanding the deeper differences in mindset, in work ethics, in life goals, and things like attitudes towards science, medicine, or even government and corporate corruption. Reading the news here and comparing them to Spanish newspapers and newssites and seeing what everyday concerns people have in both places feels like living in a different planet altogether. And again, I'm not going by what other people tell me about it; this is my literal lived experience, and of every single Spaniard I've met living here.

Quote
That's not to say that there aren't also differences, but these things are all relative. Is German and Spanish culture as different as German and Bangladeshi culture, for example? Do you think you face as much discrimination as an immigrant from outside "the western world"?

I don't know what your point is here, but the answer is... depends? I probably experience less discrimination than, say, a Polish construction worker, but certainly more than an educated black American, and way more than any Scandinavian citizen. I relate more to my Turkish neighbours than to most Germans I've known. The connection I feel with Italian friends has literally nothing to do with what I feel when interfacing with Danes. Most of Europe doesn't consider us part of the civilized world, making the idea of the "western world" in this context by and large irrelevant save as a vague, nebulous idea that allows us to very loosely group certain groups of societies/states the same way we can group "East Asia" together in a very vague sense. Of course you'll see more similarities between China and Japan than between China and Pakistan, but only in the most superficial of senses because both countries have had radically different histories and have moved towards extremely different societies. And the same way, this idea of "the Western World" mashing together radically different cultures in some sort of mushy, homogeneous goo, is like FormosaFalanster and I have stated, incorrect, superficial and offensive.

Title: Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
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