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Author Topic: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination  (Read 4576 times)

Ali

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #140 on: Yesterday at 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.

BarbWire

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #141 on: Yesterday at 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.  :)

Ali

  • What will become of the baron?
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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #142 on: Yesterday at 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?

BarbWire

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #143 on: Yesterday at 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. 

Ali

  • What will become of the baron?
    • Ali worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ali worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #144 on: Yesterday at 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."
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 17:38 by Ali »

BarbWire

  • Purify the World!
    • BarbWire worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
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    • BarbWire worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #145 on: Yesterday at 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.

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #146 on: Yesterday at 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.

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #147 on: Yesterday at 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

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #148 on: Yesterday at 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.


BarbWire

  • Purify the World!
    • BarbWire worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
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    • BarbWire worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #149 on: Yesterday at 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

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #150 on: Yesterday at 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.


Matti

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #151 on: Yesterday at 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').

KyriakosCH

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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  ;)
This is the Way - A dark allegory. My Patreon!  My Youtube!

Ali

  • What will become of the baron?
    • Ali worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ali worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
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.
« Last Edit: Today at 09:21 by Ali »

KyriakosCH

  • Alien spiral maker
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
Οκ ^_^
This is the Way - A dark allegory. My Patreon!  My Youtube!