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Author Topic: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination  (Read 51021 times)

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #440 on: 08 Mar 2021, 11:26 »
I think this paragraph 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 and here).

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 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.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2021, 18:26 by Honza »

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #441 on: 08 Mar 2021, 11:38 »
Good discussion everybody.

I think this paragraph 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 and here).

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 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, 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 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.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2021, 11:53 by Blondbraid »


Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #442 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?
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2021, 12:53 by Atelier »

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #443 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.
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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #444 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.

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #445 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.
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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #446 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.


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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #447 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.
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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #448 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 got.)


"Pokemon lover"? Really?  :-\

_

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #449 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?


Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #450 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.


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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #452 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...
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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #453 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.
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 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.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2021, 22:37 by Blondbraid »


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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #454 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!

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #455 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.

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.
« Last Edit: 09 Mar 2021, 00:30 by Honza »

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #456 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.
« Last Edit: 09 Mar 2021, 01:07 by Ali »

Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #457 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".
« Last Edit: 09 Mar 2021, 05:10 by Honza »

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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #458 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.
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Re: Bechdel test and other media analysis about discrimination
« Reply #459 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.
« Last Edit: 09 Mar 2021, 09:58 by Blondbraid »