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How much sympathy is left for people who still like traditional gender roles?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Mythopoet, Nov 23, 2015.

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  1. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Assuming that he or she translated accurately, and you had the intention to publish in that language, I don't see how the translator has a duty to change your words to something legally safe.

    And, as an aside, if you are traditionally published you have a publisher with you every step of the way to help deal with these problems.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes, that's defamation, which I mentioned can lead to liability for fiction writers and others. I said that liability in the area of mere expression of ideas is very difficult (as opposed to statements about a person or entity, though if you're dealing with a public figure even that is a high burden for a plaintiff to meet).
     
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  3. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    I agree with you in the United States it is quite difficult, but the option is still there. In Canada we have for instance, the tort of intentional interference with economic relations, which I suspect would lend itself quite well to my "Protocols of Orcdom" scenario.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    We have torts for intentional interference with contract, business relationships, &c. What I'm curious about is whether in Canada a fiction writer could be held liable for an "idea" embodied in their work, rather than for something like libel or other tort. My understanding is that fiction writers there could potentially run afoul of hate crimes laws, whereas such laws would be inoperative in the U.S. under the First Amendment. Is that an accurate analysis of how fiction writers might consider Canadian law?
     
  5. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Partially. Our hate crimes laws form part of the criminal code, so that would be getting charged with that crime. If you wrote the right fiction you could definitely be convicted on that offence.

    Liable, in the civil sense, would, of course, require a cause of action, such a s defamation, intentional interference with contract etc. The more interesting question for the fiction writer is how successful you could be in having them held liable as a party defendant in say...an assault case or something similar, either in the civil or criminal context. I doubt there is much case law on it, but I believe the door to be open, particularly in jurisdictions, like Ontario, where we have joint and several liability for many torts. If that makes sense.
     
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  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Not to get too far afield, but one last question: in the U.S. common law, an "intervening criminal act" traditionally cuts off the chain of liability. Thus, liability for something like an assault would not be easy. Is that true in Canada?
     
  7. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    In civil law, causation is now a very complicated issue. Novus Actus, the doctrine that an intervening act can "break the chain" of causation is not a strong defence up here. Very generally speaking, if a tortious act can be found to be have materially contributed to the negative outcome, then the chain of causation is not broken and the early tortfeasor can be held partially liable. Material contribution has been defined as any contribution beyond "de minimus". Which means that it would be a very brave defence counsel who would want to rely on Novus Actus.

    I don't do enough criminal law to comment usefully on how that affects parties to a crime in that context.
     
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Thank you. I'll desist and let the conversation turn back to writing. I was just curious.
     
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  9. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    I was thinking more along the lines of the translator choosing words for the translation that weren't legally safe, based on the translator's opinion of the original work, which might not exactly be what the original author had in mind. Sometimes translations can go more than one way. Ever tried using the online translators, putting in a phrase, translating it, and then putting in the translation to see what you get back? It almost always has a different meaning than what was originally entered. I'm not saying I'd ever use an online translator to translate a work of fiction to publish in a foreign market, I'm only using that as an example to prove the point that translators often have multiple choices for the words they use in their translations, and I, not being able to read the language, wouldn't be able to approve or disapprove the translator's choice of words.

    Yes, I realize that one who is traditionally published would have a publisher's help. To me, your bringing up the point implies that self-publishers should be very cautious about hiring a translator to publish in a foreign language. Point taken.
     
  10. ascanius

    ascanius Inkling

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    I want to point out one thing I'm not talking about an author telling people what to do, I'm talking strictly within the confines of an author telling a story. I just want to make sure we are all on the same page.

    An idea is not dangerous it has no means by which to impact anything. The person however is dangerous and a person can turn the most innocent idea into a nightmare. An idea has no will, it is nothing more than the tool by which a person acts.

    see below.

    Look the problem with this is what determines a dangerous idea? what? what is popular such as Nazism at the time, but would they have thought it a dangerous idea? or what about soviet communism? Without a definition of dangerous idea it means, as history has shown, whatever a powerful group wants it to mean. The problem with this is any idea can arbitrarily be a dangerous idea. It is limited only by the ambition of those with their own idea. However, does that mean they are actually dangerous?

    Yes but going back to the idea cannot punch someone an idea is not something that has laws of physics that allows us to predict an outcome. people are much to variable and unpredictable, the way one person reacts to an idea can and will be totally different from the way another reacts, it's why getting people to agree is so difficult. An idea is intangible, an abstraction, a paradox of dualities, it exists yet doen't so tell me how do we predict the outcome of such an elusive thing. Applying the concept of negligence to an idea is great in hind-site.

    There is every reason a writer should not be held responsible. Why is the writer responsible for the actions of another person? why? Did they choose to act in a terrible way? We are responsible for the choices we as individuals make, I know the law says some something similar, so tell me why I should be held responsible for the action of another when I had no choice.

    I'll bite, explain remoteness, because my next point was going to be what happens when things happen 10 yrs after or 60, is the author still responsible? I have no idea what remoteness means i'm just guessing.

    So what. Tell me why you are responsible for the actions of other people. Why is it ok to remove responsibility from the individuals in this "community" and hold you responsible for their actions. Did they not have a choice?

    I never said they are beyond review others are free to counter their ideas with ideas of their own, it's the very foundation of a free society. However what I do think is actually childish is to place blame for ones own actions on another person.


    this is very different, this is malicious intent and not at all what I am talking about. This is an understood warning of danger and to misuse it is deemed wrong by everyone. however what about this scenario, two friends are in a theater Bob tells Tom, it would be funny to yell 'fire' as a joke never intending to ever do it. Tome yells 'fire.' Should we hold Bob responsible?

    Basically I believe an individual should be held responsible for their actions, not an author, nor their hairdresser, father, etc. The person still has a choice to act in such a way.


    Legally speaking I agree 100% it's better to be on the safe side and not get sued or thrown in jail because of the stupidity of others, it doesn't make it right though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  11. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Sage

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    Since I said this my views have, well not changed so much as . . . mellowed. I used to be the sort of person who would argue for arguments sake and my stubbornness sometimes makes me dig my heels in and my stance can come off as more extreme than I really intended. I confess I am not yet above this and sometimes when I am frustrated or angry I pick fights I have no business fighting and say things I don't really mean. Nonetheless since this particular quote has sparked a discussion, and though the discussion has grown beyond my post, I feel it only right that attempt explain what I meant because I'm not sure it was properly understood (and a large part of that is the defensive and off-putting tone of the original post)

    I was trying to say something, and I said it badly. People have focused on my saying ideas are not damaging. And I do believe that but with one big caveat. I do not think ideas are inherently damaging. I have long believed in something that I only recently have been able to put a name to: interdependent arising. I believe that idea like everything else do not exist in a vacuum. Like everything else they have very real consequences, but ideas also depend on the minds that perceive them and on the words used to articulate them, on the state of the world.

    "All men are created equal" seems a simple enough idea. But what does equality mean? Who are all men? These are not easy questions and the answer has not been the same across time and certainly not from person to person. The importance of intention vs action has ever been a debate between philosophers and I will not indulge it here, but it is clear to me that the road from intention to action is not always a straightforward one. Sometimes people do the wrong thing for the right reasons or the right things for the wrong reasons and so a good idea executed poorly can lead to terrible damage and a bad idea need not by necessity lead to a bad end. I never meant ideas are blameless, only that the full burden on consequence is not wholly, or even always primarily, on their shoulders.

    But my real point was in my last sentence which seems to have been overlooked. I think a single-story is far more damaging than any "bad" idea. This is why stereotypes, even "positive" ones are so damaging. They reduce a group of people down to one trait and don't allow them to be anything else. One story where there's an Asian kid and his only personality trait is being smart, is just one person's interpretation of reality. One hundred such stories start to become a narrative, something we "just know" to be true. Yet if those one-hundred stereotyped portrayals are counterbalanced with a hundred multi-dimensional portrayals, then people have a choice in what they want to believe. Some people are still going to believe the stereotype, but at least it will no longer be because they weren't given any other viewpoints.

    I do not write this to get into a debate. I just wanted to try to explain myself more properly since my original post is unclear. I am not certain I have done a satisfactory job, but since this thread has been resurrected I have not had peace of mind because I regret many of my earlier posts.
     
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  12. Hallen

    Hallen Scribe

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    Hobb puts all kinds of characters in her books, eventually. They are generally well thought out and are who they should be for the role they play in the story. It's her story endings that sometimes fall a bit flat.

    She includes gay characters in the Rain Wild trilogy. That's the trilogy prior to the last 2 books. If you are on the Farseer trilogy, you will need to read two more trilogies before you get there.

    The character "The Fool" is also gender fluid, if you will, but he's also not strictly human.
     
  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >Is there still a place for my stories in this environment?

    When a thread goes on for a long time, as this one has, I find it worthwhile to go back to the inciting incident (to coin a phrase <g>).

    In a word: yes. A couple of places. There is a whole genre of Christian fantasy in which traditional values would not only be accepted but expected. But beyond that, so long as one does not become preachy (how ironic!), plenty of folks will read a story as a story and not think much about social issues. Most folks, I daresay. And some will raise red flags of criticism or protest. Don't worry about that. There will be plenty of other authors who speak to their beliefs.

    Or, as Chairman Mao said, let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend. (quotation chosen with a deliberate eye to irony; I still have my little red book)
     
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  14. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    I would still read a story in which we see basically "traditional" gender roles. I put traditional in inverted commas as I'm not sure that what I see as traditional as a 31 year old born and bred middle class Londoner is the same as what everyone else sees as traditional - I'm honestly not sure I've ever met a stay at home mother - but I do recognise a vague general sense of what traditional means.

    I'm also pretty sure they're still getting published. Not in huge numbers maybe, but the most recent big publishing house debut I read seemed to basically have those traditional roles.
     
  15. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    And traditional roles doesn't mean the story is traditional or hackneyed or in any way unworthy of being told. The book I recently finished, Angle of Repose, is very much aware that the 19thc wife and husband are traditional. This is made clear by the narrator, who writes in 1970. The book becomes a commentary on relationships in both centuries.
     
  16. Hallen

    Hallen Scribe

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    There is a lot of room for latitude when designing your civilization, cultures, and societies. There are reasons why social structures evolved the way they have on this world. But that doesn't mean your world can't have a society that evolved differently for different reason whether it's biology, religion, society, or environment. (Aiel vs Emond's Field...)

    Our societies on earth today are all about raising children. There is virtually no point in a civil society that builds to last if there is nobody to carry on, appreciate, and use those things. Plus, we always want to leave our children something to make their lives better. Without that, society devolves into a me against them situation.

    Even in fantasy, people need things to hold onto and represent something familiar. It grounds them in the story. If your race is mostly humanoid, and they have children, there is a very high probability that they will have a family with a mother and a father. There are reasons for this. So, not only do I think there is sympathy for families, it's what most people know and understand so it is expected. The families do not have to be perfect or idealistic, but they will exist in one form or another.

    That's not to say you can't do it other ways, or can't have races/societies that do things differently, but it must make sense and have enough explanation that people can see it working -- at least within the constraints of the story. It's definitely more work to do well than using a simple family structure. But, this can be an interesting way to explore the human condition or to add a level of wonder to your stories.
     
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  17. Lisselle

    Lisselle Minstrel

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    This is a long and old post, and I have read many replies, though not all, so I apologise if another has already stated this opinion, however I honestly believe you have to write what you know, and thus, write what you love.

    My MC's are hetero, though many of my supporting characters are gay and gender fluid. My female MC's best friend is a Trans girl. This reflects the society I live in. Our community is very inclusive, and we have a strong LGBTQI environment here. There is no judgement, I doubt people bat an eyelid when seeing the 'rainbow' of gender diversity we have here. I am also the mother of teenagers, and I see young people today in Australia are very open and accepting of gender differences. It's a catch-cry for my sons and my daughter to demand "Are you assuming my gender identity?!" Ha! Many of their teachers at school are gay, and it's a world they have grown up accepting, without knowing they were accepting it; it is just their world. I want to reflect this in my writing, this lack of a need for gender differences, and sexuality differences, to be an issue.

    When we write, we write reflecting 'our' worlds. This is the best we can do, and while we soar upon wings of fancy, imagination and extremes, ultimately, our stories may merely be mirrors held up to ourselves.
     
  18. bdcharles

    bdcharles Minstrel

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    In terms of your writing, my view - and this applies to any perspective or viewpoint or life choice - is that as long as it doesn't overshadow the story and get too obviously "messagey" you will be fine - unless it is a key thing, of course; I enjoyed the Left Behind series because although it was ostensibly Christian fiction, it was in the end a relatively good read. In terms of you as a reader, I guess that will vary with as many as there are different sorts of people in general, and who your market is. Some will sympathise with your views, others less so, and as others have said, it is quite the hot topic.
     
  19. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Ugh. Can we just close this thread? The OP is outdated and the question doesn't need to be answered anymore. If people want to discuss this subject, I'd rather it was in a new thread where half the replies weren't responding to a post I wrote years ago and no longer find relevant.
     
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  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    That's fine. This thread is now closed.
     
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