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  1. #21
    Anew Leaf
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    Is it possible to be sexist against men, though? I've heard people on LJ say that "misandry" doesn't exist because a woman who hates men has much more precedent and much less power than a man who hates women...
    It is 100% possible to be sexist against men. That was apparently supposed to be the secondary education I received when I was at college...

    I remember one class where the teacher was telling all of the girls that if we get married, we absolutely should not take our husband's name.

    Teacher: Taking his name is just admitting to the slavery that is rampant in this society. If you take his name it's like he is stamping himself on you.
    Me: *raises hand*
    Teacher: Yes! What is it?
    Me: Uhhhhh, isn't our current last name our dad's and therefore already a man's name?
    Teacher: Moving on, let's read our next story entitled "Blah Blah."
    Me: *raises hand again*
    Teacher: Now let's start reading and save the questions for later!

    I wasn't really* trying to be a smartass, I sincerely wanted to know what the heck she was getting at.

    *Ok, 25% of me was wanting to be a smartass.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Is it possible to be sexist against men, though? I've heard people on LJ say that "misandry" doesn't exist because a woman who hates men has much more precedent and much less power than a man who hates women...
    Oh of course, in much the same way that a women can written as moronic or inferior so to can a man be written in a way that objectifies his entire gender, although I'm not familiar with any specific examples off the top of my head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Few Authors are truly able to allows their own selves to "die" before their writings. Ones that can transcend themselves are usually able to produce works of breathtaking beauty. Most are simply writing about themselves.

    Examples. (I am a huge fan of fantasy fiction right now, so this is where most of my examples will come from.)

    BAD:

    Christopher Palolini (whatever his name is) - kid who wrote those terrible "Dragon" books. If you haven't read them here is a summation: Imagine the love child if Star Wars and LOTR screwed each other.... and then made the author the main character.

    Stephanie Meyers of the horrific Twilight saga. Summation: Bella = who SM wanted to be in high school. Another summation: Twilight is the heartwarming tale of a young girl's journey into adulthood where she must choose (like every woman must eventually choose) between beastiality and necrophilia.

    GOOD:

    George RR Martin of Song of Ice and Fire fame: He has hundreds of unique characters, all of them various shades of gray. He's brilliant. Summation of series: He kills everyone.

    Terry Pratchett: HILARIOUS INXP author. OMG I adore him. Books are hilarious, often make social commentary on societies today... but it's done in a fairly subtle and funny kind of way. My favorite of his books, Jingo, made fun of language barriers by having a special font for when the "foreigners" were speaking.

    TLR Version: Any book that doesn't trust the reader to think for itself is a book that I don't trust myself. Make your argument... but ultimately it is I who will decide how much or how little merit it has with me.
    Your examples of good and bad are excellent.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    of course you can be sexist against men. tons of women in the United States are (although probably not in Brazil)
    Let's just say that, every time I watch a beer commercial, I want to cry. We're still kinda in the Get Me A Sammich paradigm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Few Authors are truly able to allows their own selves to "die" before their writings. Ones that can transcend themselves are usually able to produce works of breathtaking beauty. Most are simply writing about themselves.

    Examples. (I am a huge fan of fantasy fiction right now, so this is where most of my examples will come from.)

    BAD:

    Christopher Palolini (whatever his name is) - kid who wrote those terrible "Dragon" books. If you haven't read them here is a summation: Imagine the love child if Star Wars and LOTR screwed each other.... and then made the author the main character.

    Stephanie Meyers of the horrific Twilight saga. Summation: Bella = who SM wanted to be in high school. Another summation: Twilight is the heartwarming tale of a young girl's journey into adulthood where she must choose (like every woman must eventually choose) between beastiality and necrophilia.

    GOOD:

    George RR Martin of Song of Ice and Fire fame: He has hundreds of unique characters, all of them various shades of gray. He's brilliant. Summation of series: He kills everyone.

    Terry Pratchett: HILARIOUS INXP author. OMG I adore him. Books are hilarious, often make social commentary on societies today... but it's done in a fairly subtle and funny kind of way. My favorite of his books, Jingo, made fun of language barriers by having a special font for when the "foreigners" were speaking.

    TLR Version: Any book that doesn't trust the reader to think for itself is a book that I don't trust myself. Make your argument... but ultimately it is I who will decide how much or how little merit it has with me.
    I'll take your word for it concerning the quality of those works... But what I meant is more like, can a feminist reading of a work be valid even if the author has stated s/he did not intend to (consciously) make such a point?

  4. #24
    Anew Leaf
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    I'll take your word for it concerning the quality of those works... But what I meant is more like, can a feminist reading of a work be valid even if the author has stated s/he did not intend to (consciously) make such a point?
    Oh, hmm... Well, I think that interpretations are meant to be somewhat subjective and valid for the unique perspectives brought in by each reader. Each point is valid unto themselves in a multiverse kind of way... but isn't necessarily the Ultimate Truth.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Oh, hmm... Well, I think that interpretations are meant to be somewhat subjective and valid for the unique perspectives brought in by each reader. Each point is valid unto themselves in a multiverse kind of way... but isn't necessarily the Ultimate Truth.
    Well, this much I see as true - in the age of fandom, it's quite clear that a work can be interpreted in several ways. What I'm worried about, through, is this: conversely, if a woman sees a work as sexist, and I - a man - do not see it as such, does that speak more about my status as a privileged member of society and all it entails, or about the work's openness-to-interpretation?

  6. #26
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Depends on if you're wrong or not, Viridian.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    It is 100% possible to be sexist against men. That was apparently supposed to be the secondary education I received when I was at college...

    I remember one class where the teacher was telling all of the girls that if we get married, we absolutely should not take our husband's name.

    Teacher: Taking his name is just admitting to the slavery that is rampant in this society. If you take his name it's like he is stamping himself on you.
    Me: *raises hand*
    Teacher: Yes! What is it?
    Me: Uhhhhh, isn't our current last name our dad's and therefore already a man's name?
    Teacher: Moving on, let's read our next story entitled "Blah Blah."
    Me: *raises hand again*
    Teacher: Now let's start reading and save the questions for later!

    I wasn't really* trying to be a smartass, I sincerely wanted to know what the heck she was getting at.

    *Ok, 25% of me was wanting to be a smartass.
    Yeah this kind of shit is obnoxious and gets on my nerves. I believe that kind of behavior gives feminism a bad name because it turns it into just blatant misandry.

    On the other hand, some claims of misandry I've seen look like "butthurt about the death of the patriarchy" in (not very convincing) disguise.

  8. #28
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    Yes, it's mostly about fleshing out characters, but there are a lot of issues involved... For example, can a female character like the color pink/have a crush on a male character/be sensitive and delicate/be portrayed as an intelligent yet deceptive individual without it being sexist?
    All in all, it's hard sometimes to say how "girly" is too "girly", especially if said character has a kind of vulnerability to them, or displays such at times...
    There’s no such thing as “too girly”. What’s wrong with liking pink? Or having a crush? What’s wrong with being a ‘girl’ (or a ‘woman’)? Human beings have vulnerabilities. Human beings have strengths. They have sensitivities and intelligences, have crushes and tell lies.

    Again, I stress exactly what I said to begin with. It’s when female characters are limited to only a specific type or a few narrow types and dichotymies* that a work fails to be feminist.

    *or when a message of a work tells them that they should only be limited to a few ways of being

  9. #29
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colors View Post
    Depends on if you're wrong or not, Viridian.
    How do I find out? Is there a "feminist 8-ball" I can buy on Amazon? /only partially joking

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Yeah this kind of shit is obnoxious and gets on my nerves. I believe that kind of behavior gives feminism a bad name because it turns it into just blatant misandry.

    On the other hand, some claims of misandry I've seen look like "butthurt about the death of the patriarchy" in (not very convincing) disguise.
    When you think about it, the very word "butthurt" has quite a few, er, implications.

    Thanks for the responses! I apologize if I'm kinda drifting, I just think this is an interesting topic.

  10. #30
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    What would you say is the difference between a work that just happens to have well-written female characters and a "feminist work"?
    From the idea of feminism as simply seeking equality (as Marmie Dearest states it), I wouldn’t say there’s a difference between the two. By how much the messages of a work espouse this equality is how I’ll split them up into implicitly feminist works and explicitly feminist works (without making any judgments about which is “better” because both are awesome and better).

    And ‘cause I hate all this talking about nothing, I will use the show Parks and Recreation as an example.

    Parks and Rec is for the most part an implicitly feminist show. Its main character Leslie Knope is a wonderfully round character: she loves her job, she’s optimistic, she’s pushy, she’s stubborn, she’s efficient, she’s a feminist, she’s been hung up on one guy, she’s dated around, etc. Likewise, the secondary female characters April and Ann also get complicated characterizations. There is also large cast of female supporting and recurring characters who obviously fit into more typical oddball sitcom roles. Collectively all these women display a wide variety of temperments, occupations, etc. For example, two very different female antagonists on the show have included overeacting conservative Christian Marcia Langman and manipulative seductress Tammy Swanson. (A clip about Leslie’s “Galentine’s Day” traditions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YppgGMxyeJI

    Leslie’s relationship with her best friend Ann is complex and supportive and given significant screen time (and is conceived to be the center of the show). When they have their first major fight in the episode “The Fight”, their epic argument includes grievances about their current love lives, but is at heart about Leslie wishing to push Ann’s career ambitions (in other words, not about men). Here’s the clip I haven’t figured out how to embed: http://www.hulu.com/watch/239947/par...ight?c=695:793.

    Simply by the nature of having a great female main character in Leslie**, having many varied female characters, paying attention to women’s relationships with other women (as much as their relationship with men or men’s relationships with each other), I consider Parks and Recreation a very feminist show.

    **and portraying her so well respected and loved by her friends. And I'd argue, to the extent that she is an admirable character.

    But Parks occasionally has episodes that are explicitly feminist, in that the show directly comments on feminist issues. The episode “Beauty Pageant”, for example, has the very feminist Leslie on a judging panel and trying (and ultimately failing) to convince the other judges to choose a winner based on other qualities than physical looks. This storyline besides commenting on the superficiality of judging women by their beauty and emphatizing with Leslie on her failure to change the outcome of the competition, also exposes that losing such arbitrary contests is not ultimately, a great setback for the women of ‘substance’ (nor winning a great boon). This A story further relates to a different feminist issue in the B story, in which Leslie has doubts about a potential love interest because he doesn’t know anything about her female political icons (Thatcher, Rice, Clinton, Roosevelt), but ultimately gives him a chance because while he doesn’t know, he treats women with respect and is willing to learn about her interests. Moments within episodes can also be explicitly feminist, for example, in this scene which pokes fun at horrible sexist stereotypes (when Leslie is trying to cover for a friend who accidently shoots a colleague on a department hunting trip): http://www.hulu.com/watch/110482/par...#x-4,vclip,6,0

    (By constrast, I’d consider Buffy the Vampire Slayer a show that is much more frequently an explicitly feminist show. Creator Joss Whedon on why he created the show: “The first thing I ever thought of when I thought of Buffy was the little… blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed, in every horror movie. The idea of Buffy was to subvert that idea, that image, and create someone who was a hero where she had always been a victim.” Thus, Buffy the character much more often has struggles that relate directly to feminist issues. Hell, it’s in the title of the series itself: the ridiculous juxtaposition of her throwback 50s ‘girly’ name with “slayer”. But the series goes to show that it’s not so ridiculous at all, that a girl who simply wants to go to the school dance can also be the one force that saves the world, and that Buffy’s great strength comes just as much from her roles as friend, daughter, sister and her normal everyday desires to have a boyfriend, a career, etc. as her superpowers.)

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