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The Female Power Fantasy?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Logos&Eidos, Mar 13, 2014.

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  1. Futhark

    Futhark Sage

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    Came across an article at Problematizing Power Fantasy - The Enemy that, while about gaming, has some relevant points, I think. It’s very late here, or very early (4am), and I’m going to sleep, so I’ll post again later.
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    That was an excellent article. Thanks for the reference. I'm going to chew on it a while and either respond here or maybe start a new thread. The authors raise a number of points, as you say, that are directly relevant to writing fantasy stories.
     
  3. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    In discussions like these, it's useful to think of men/women as a class of people with broad social trends and responses, instead of as individuals.
     
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    In some discussions like these, I agree. This, however, is a forum on writing. When it comes to writing, I tend to think of individuals. Indeed, we are often writing about the exceptional individual--not merely the talented or overpowered, but even the one-dimensional or the stereotype. Characters in stories are not like "humanity" in the abstract, in much the same way that dialog in a story is unlike real-life conversation.
     
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  5. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    You say a dispute about if and why that should be avoided in the first place is off topic, yet you make this statement that it should be avoided as if thats a given. It's not a given. Theres no reason to particularly avoid the ridiculously and offensively named "man with boobs". Not in 2019.
     
  6. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    When discussing audience responses to power fantasies, one cannot speak in terms of individuals unless they've met every individual on Earth. There will always be people who claim to be exceptions to social theories, trends and claims. Does that invalidate said theories? No.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >one cannot speak in terms of individuals unless they've met every individual on Earth

    Um, what? When writing a story, I deal with individuals all the time. So does any writer. I think that's good; that it is, in fact, one of the great strengths of storytelling. It lets us say things about ourselves that the social scientist cannot. Social theories are, by their nature, abstractions. Novels (poems, etc) are insights. Both have value, but the latter is the subject of this particular forum. It's one reason why I hang out here rather than in a sociology forum.
     
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  8. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Well, I can see the Mods are trying to steer this one back in a certain direction. I've not found a better definition for a 'power' fantasy other than one I used earlier, in which the Author, or reader, is meant to want to be the character the story is about. This is different than how I first approached this thread. So, I was off track on that topic from the beginning.

    I am currently reading a romance (Chessie), and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say, I think most romances are female power fantasies. This is a totally different use of the word power in the way 'Girl Power' would get used, which...I am pretty sure was around before the spice girls and has never gone out of style. In the right context, it comes up pretty fast.

    I think Annoying Kid and I are pretty far apart on how we look at the world, I but I can tell she has invested a lot of time and energy into these things she values, and I think she presents them well. I hope others find value in the things we don't agree on. Disagreement gives contrast right, and that is more useful than agreement in looking to understand new things. I feel much of the stuff I said early in the thread were kind of on a different topic, due to a lack of a good definition, but I don't think any of it could not be useful to any looking for things in that context. I am not sure where any has crossed over into ad hominem attacks on someone, but sometimes in social interactions things get misread.

    I try to approach all of this stuff looking for what I think is true about things, and standing on things that make sense to me. If my arguments are weak, I think it will show, and I would know to reevaluate them.

    Someone called the thread 'necroed'. I am not sure that can be said so long as others still find it worthwhile to talk about. This topic (female heroes in fantasy) comes around again and again, so even if we end it here, it will be back in a few months. But you know, while the thread is topically about female power fantasies, which I think was ill defined early on (least for me), us artist types are just interested in stuff. And all of this bleeds into trying to understand the nature of the universe so we can have art that imitates life (or vice versa, right?). It is a philosophical pursuit that we are also trying to capture in wrestling with all of this. I think those subjects are important even if they drift a little. Ultimately, I think all of this breaks down to how can we get it right, and say what we want to say. In spite of my different values, I think I've been pretty open to telling others to 'write what you want and not what you think I want'. There is no other way to be. When it breaks down to 'your wrong', 'no, you're wrong', no wait, 'you're wrong...' and the reasons are missing or just repeating, then I guess is time for a breather. But honestly, from what I've been reading, I think people still have stuff to say. I hope it is allowed to continue, even if I find these threads a little personally draining to myself, as I tend to post long messages in them.

    Anyway, the mods seem to do a great job here. I almost never see something posted I think they need to do something about. I assume that is because of stuff that goes on behind the scenes. So good job to you guys.
     
  9. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I think that everything that can be said one way or the other about this topic has been said and it's time to lock it.
     
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