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Female armour in fantasy books/games

Discussion in 'World Building' started by ALB2012, Jan 2, 2013.

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  1. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    I am talking about the computer game, but I agree about the movies. I hadn't really thought about the lack of women in the alliance, or indeed the empire, at least in the original films but you are correct.

    "(where this comes up a lot) and the suchlike, men draw male characters they way they want to look. Men draw female characters the way men want women to look." This I agree with, I don't think I mean it was not as bad but maybe it simply was not as obvious to me that the men are all so generic.


    I disagree though about the comment men are not sexualised. Look at the romance book covers, yes the women are too but all the men are really good looking and have the toned, abs look. I swear there is one buffed male torso with interchangable heads doing the round. Women too have a sexualised view of men. Would you buy a book with picture of a fat, balding middle aged man on it? Probably not. Whats his name from 50 shades of grey is not portrayed as your average fella and most of the men in female oriented romance and erotica are fit, handsome and hung like a horse.

    Maybe it is simply not as obvious?
     
  2. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    Really good point! I have actually never thought about that before.
     
  3. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    It's not as obvious because it's not nearly as prevalent. Harlequin romance novels and cheap smut aside (Fifty Shades had no illustrations, by the way), how many times a day do you see a bare-chested man in advertising, book covers, and media in general? How about women in bikinis? Do a count sometime. The exposed, objectified female body (often photographed only from the neck down) is used to sell literally everything, while manly six-packs and pecs sell romance novels and maybe protein shake mix at GNC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  4. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Is it canted towards women? Yes, most certainly but understandably so.... Women, in general, are far more concerned with their appearance than men. Therefore, those female images have greater numbers of impressions per image, than ads that feature men, because they appeal to both genders. There are still plenty of uses of the male form in this regard other than Harlequin novels. The ratio may be 4 or 5 to 1 but it's still out there a good amount.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  5. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Are you actually trying to tell me that a bikini-clad supermodel reclining on a sports car will attract me because I'm concerned with my appearance?
     
  6. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Note the use of the phrase "in general".

    It comes down to women in western society being held to, and competing for, an ideal appearance standard (an unrealistic & unfair one) and little to do with sexual attraction.You'd be hard pressed to convince me that the average western woman is not more concerned about appearance than the average man. I stand by that assertion though it will obviously not apply to all individuals.
     
  7. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    Maybe, because the target audience for that sports car are desperate/low self esteem men that think that by buying that car they will get supermodel girlfriends. So a male that is concerned with his appearance might be attracted.
     
  8. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Is that man concerned with his appearance or subject to the idea that showing off his money can attract a woman that looks like that?

    I'd say the latter.
     
  9. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    Some say that men with fast/big cars are "compensating" for something. Which I would say is an appearance issue.

    I do actually know some males that are in severe debt for these so called "chick magnets." So there is definitely no money to show off for them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  10. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    By that, you're suggesting that advertisements like that are directed towards men with small genitalia. I'd submit that they are directed at men with large bank accounts or substantial expendable income.

    Again, we're talking generalities and not specifics.
     
  11. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    I would say genitalia would have more to do with the supermodel than income, but more an over all self esteem issue.
     
  12. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    It's a flawed assertion for many reasons, chiefly that it doesn't address the root of the problem.
     
  13. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    How so? Just calling an assertion flawed isn't an argument.

    In your opinion, what is the root problem?

    EDIT: I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm curious about your perspective.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  14. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Every generalization has its basis in something, by necessity, but there is no biological or evolutionary imperative for women to be concerned with their appearance. There's a discussion like this happening in another thread right now; women tend to be considered more valuable based on their uteri, not their faces (and historically, a Rubenesque physique suggested fertility more strongly than today's value of thinness). The obsession with appearance that you noted must come from somewhere.

    The generally accepted term is "male gaze". Makers of media are predominantly male. Male characters in media are more thoroughly represented than female characters on a spectrum that includes race, body time, income level, and education. Female characters tend to fall into a very small selection of categories, all of which look essentially the same. If that's all women are presented with, and we're told at every turn that we should strive for that, how can we possibly avoid being concerned with our appearance? It's a vicious cycle, but it has nothing to do with any inherent quality in womankind.
     
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  15. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    I don't disagree with any of those points. Also, I never claimed women are inherently this way. In fact, only a few posts up I noted that I thought the media ideal held women to an unfair & unrealistic standard.

    My only point is that the current use of female sexuality, based off current cultural attitudes as a whole, is good marketing because it has impact on a greater percentage of the population than male images. Whether or not its moral or healthy can certainly be brought into question.

    I have a young daughter whom I plan to teach to have value in herself, above an beyond appearance. When it comes to the physical, I want her to love her form and not subject herself to the torment of current thoughts on beauty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
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  16. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Well then, I would go further than your assessment that it all comes down to an unfair standard and say that the standard has roots that can be fixed, and indeed must be fixed in order for our culture to approach anything resembling egalitarianism. The standard has become the status quo, and it leads to all manner of destructive attitudes.

    I'm in the same position--my daughter is a year old, and every day I wonder how soon my voice will be drowned out by the world around her, and when my insistence that uniqueness is beautiful will cease to have any influence in the way she views herself.
     
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  17. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    There is. At least as debated by a special I watched on Discovery Channel. Ancient man looked for certain physical markers in a woman to find the healthiest mate for child bearing. The most predominant way to measure is symmetry. The closer to perfect symmetry a woman displays, the healthier she is perceived. The healthier, the more attractive.

    This is still seen today. Super models aren't picked because of the dimensions of physical attributes, they are picked because of they're facial symmetry.

    It's not hard to derive why women would want to emulate such women supposedly geared towards men. Those women speak to our (men) primal need to reproduce.
     
  18. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    I wouldn't deny that facial symmetry is a factor in the appeal of models and actresses who end up prominently placed in the media we consume, but downplaying the prevalence of a size zero physique is ridiculous. Furthermore, there's a threshold for what we regular-type women can emulate--if our faces aren't symmetrical and we can't afford plastic surgery, we're out of luck, but anyone can go on a starvation diet and get a Brazilian wax.

    This goes beyond images presented in media, all the way to what women are offered when they go shopping. I am the national average dress size, which means a medium, right? Nope. Unless I go to Walmart, where they have their finger on the pulse of their customers' body types if not the pulse of fashion, the labels tell me I am a large or extra-large. And those sizes are almost always enlarged versions of the smaller patterns, which means the proportions are off and they don't fit properly, because looking good in clothes is only for skinny people. I am presented, every day, with a standard that has nothing to do with an evolutionary or biological imperative, or indeed with reality.
     
  19. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    And ironically, studies have shown that the people most critical about women's weight are... other women.

    Studies have proven that the majority of men- when asked to rate the attractiveness of a selection of female figures- do *not* select the anorexic one. They select the one with a little meat on her bones.
     
  20. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    I sort of wish I hadn't started this...
    Yep I know the feeling of having to buy larger sized clothes as I am a buxom lass ;) Why shops don't have nice clothes for the slightly larger or rather not the skinny thin sized girl I have no idea.

    Look in women's mags- I bet most of those models are thin, the mags advertise make up and clothes which only look good on a stick insect and these are the ones aimed AT women so it is not just men who sexualise women, women do too.

    Oh and there are a LOT of the buffed male torsos as romance covers on the facebook and GR sites I hang around on. I guess both men and women have an unrealistic ideal of what is attractive.

    However we seem to have meandered a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
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