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What YOU dislike seeing in female fantasy characters

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

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  1. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    I'm not sure what it is that you don't understand. You either believe in the same standard for all participating groups as a rule of general principle, or you believe in the notion of "some people are just more equal than others". Making exceptions falls into the realm of hypocrisy.

    I'm talking about general principles here. If one was to desire the notion of equality then as a rule it would create a standard that everyone who also wanted equality would have to adhere to.

    It's not any different than the idea of free speech. If you are for the freedom of speech then you can't pick and choose who it applies to and still be considered genuinely for it. You are creating double standards that go against the general principle.

    Equality doesn't exist and will never exist in the real world. That's the reality of it all. I'm not implying that it ever has in a historical context.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Again, this is an overly simplistic analysis, and like many such analyses it doesn't hold up. An example would be looking at the movie White Girls, where two black actors appear in white makeup to play white characters. A simplistic analysis might lead you to conclude that actors appearing in black face should be just as acceptable. On the surface, you have two equivalent things: people using making to assume the appearance of another race. But a deeper analysis of the issue would demonstrate quickly enough why the two acts that appear on equivalent on the surface aren't really equivalent. If you're discarding a lot of the facts around these issues you can't make a good judgment about them.

    As an aside, your post to Russ where you deride emotionally-driven arguments is also odd. One can usually tell when emotionally-driven arguments are at work because they tend to include name calling, insults, and ad hominem arguments. Your post back to Russ was, ironically, the emotional one because it resorted to such insults. You're welcome to your opinion, but if you can't express them without making direct insults to other members of the community you should probably step away from the thread until you can. It is perfectly possible to argue your position without resorting to those tactics.
     
  3. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Ok… I'm going to get into trouble for this….

    What's the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don't hold back, now.

    You're probably thinking of words like slut, whore, b*tch, C***… (I told you not to hold back!), skank.

    Ok, now what are the worst things you can call a guy? ***, girl, B*tch, p*ssy, I've even heard the term "mangina.."

    Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl, and the worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman, in our culture, is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that is not royally F'd up.

    There is a general problem here, and it does not come down to a simple ideology of equality, or meritocracy.
     
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  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Our culture is patriarchal, and certainly historically derived from centuries of patriarchy. Patriarchal systems tend to devalue traditional feminine roles, and therefore traditionally devalue women in many ways. Thus, using the feminine to insult men is a natural consequence of a patriarchal society.

    In a fictional matriarchal society, it might be interesting to use the reverse.
     
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  5. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Exactly, Steerpike. We can argue equality and meritocracy all we want, but in our culture it simply doesn't exist.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  6. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    It's not about exceptions, it is about moving towards equality. Let me make the argument as simply as possible.

    If white men are functioning in society at a 10 and women are functioning at a 7, and one of the reasons that women are functioning at a 7 is because people use derogatory language about them, then removing that language makes it easier for women to be moved towards that desirable 10. If I believed that some negative language was holding men back (I am not convinced but for the sake of argument let's say it is true) than I would say, let's not use negative gender language at all and move both groups towards functioning as a 12.

    Now there are differences between reducing inequality between groups and treating all individuals equally. They are handled very differently, one is a matter of policy and one is a matter of individual conduct.

    I agree with you perfect equality cannot be achieved. That however is no reason not to work on it. Your logic falls flat there. We will never achieve perfect literacy, or the total elimination of starvation. That is no reason to stop trying to improve our educational system or to stop trying to feed the hungry now is it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
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  7. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Mr. Molyneux is pretty out there. How about let's say a peer reviewed paper, a real study, a university department policy, something with some credibility?

    Cute to watch you stoop to call me delusional.

    Funny thing is I have not made a single emotion based argument. It seems your lack of ability to reason through the argument has left you trying to build straw men and make some negative generalizations about feminists being emotionally driven. Well played.
     
  8. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    I think it's better if we take this thread back to the discussion of Fantasy.

    My opinion is that most of the Fantasy series out there are targeted at a male audience, and as a result of that it's the male characters that get the most important roles in the stories while the female characters are relegated to the background.

    They are not as explored as they should be, and their true potential gets lost.

    The key to solve the problem is not to portray female characters in certain way or another, but to give them more protagonist roles and allow them to grow through the story instead of always remaining in the shadow of the male heroes. This is true not only in the case of Fantasy literature, but also in most video games and other media.

    Also important is to think of all characters as people with motivations, personality and desires, and stop labeling them either male or female all the time.

    We need many more female characters in the spotlight, it's as simple as that.
     
  9. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    This is very true. Traditional publishers still do this because they don't really understand the market of readers. (Their market has always been bookstores, not readers, until recently.) But then for a very long time authors have not been writing for the reader market either so much as they have been writing to the demands of the publishers. (They didn't really have a choice, if they wanted to be published.)

    However, the way to rectify this is not to place overemphasis on female characters instead of male characters in a misguided effort to balance the scales. The way to rectify this is for author to bypass the behemoth publishers and their imprints who still have a stone age mentality. Authors need to connect with their readers and realize that the fantasy audience is full of both men and women and so they should be writing for both. The fantasy audience is large and diverse and any author who still thinks it is primarily composed mostly of adolescent white boys is living in another age.

    Don't write for any specific kind of person, write for all of them.
     
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  10. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    Good? No. Like I said, you deal and you move on.
     
  11. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    Unless you don't think those are the worst things you can call a guy.
     
  12. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I completely disagree. Being a woman in this society is respected FAR MORE than in other places in the world I won't get into. We're allowed so much freedom here to have fulfilling lives. I've only ever felt disrespected as a woman when I've allowed myself to be by dating the wrong dudes in the past.

    But back to the OP, honestly, I think we can all agree on writing men or women should be the same: write believable characters that change as individuals in the story. Boom. That's it. All of the negative things we've spouted about women characters we dislike probably had to do with the author not portraying a believable character, or just us not liking the story. I've had beta readers tell me before that they hated my heroine(s) because she was creepy, or too mean, or too naive, or whatever. The point is not everyone is going to like your character, so whatevs, right? :)
     
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  13. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    What do you think annoys the average guy more then?
     
  14. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    Well, the statement wasn't what annoys the average guy. It was "the worst thing you can call a guy." Bitch, girl and pussy aren't even close. I heard about a stunt some group pulled on a college campus years ago. They posted notices all over campus saying, "These men are potential rapists." Underneath that provocative title was a list of every male student at the college. Being equated with the lowest scum imaginable would piss me off. Being hit with junior high level insults, not so much.
     
  15. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    I'm confused as to why it's your fault that some guy disrespected you instead of, y'know, that being the guy's fault? Nor am i convinced that the fact that women are treated terribly elsewhere means that there are no problems facing them in the US. By that logic there's no poverty or inequality here, either. But I can respect your opinion, if I disagree with it. As for the rest...


    I feel like I should get out a "Men are the Real Oppressed, Women are Lying" bingo card here. While what you're describing sounds like a frankly bizarre attempt to grab attention (though it'd be nice to get a source on that besides "some college, years ago"), it doesn't change the fact that rape is a huge f*cking issue. And there are far more people out there calling women c*nts and wh*res than there are people calling all men rapists. The bottom line is still: please don't call people bitches, alright? It's not an unreasonable thing to ask.

    This conversation has gone wildly off the rails from any point related to writing. Can we just let Guy get another one-liner in and close the thread already?
     
  16. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

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    Alright everyone, I do not like how people have continually side tracked this thread. It started out well, and there was some good, honest discussion, and to those people I am grateful to your responses. I like people who speak honestly with their words and who aren't afraid to speak their minds. Some people are too sensitive for such arguments and in the case of this thread, they hitched a ride and then derailed the train because they didn't like what people where saying or how they were saying it.

    Thus, I have asked Sheilawisz to lock the thread. If you have an issue, talk to me, not to her.



    -Cold
     
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